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JUNE 2012

Mars Drinks

23

Arriving at their desk 7.37am after a commute that lasts, on average, 31 minutes and 52 seconds, statistics show that legal professionals have their first chat with a colleague several minutes later at 7.44am and grab their first hot drink to get the day going at 7.55am. Between then and around 5.15pm, when the average lawyer leaves the office, they spend on average 26 minutes and 16 seconds chatting to their colleagues about non-work related subjects.

traditional communication is top choice

So we know that legal professionals enjoy a good chat, but what is it that they talk about with their colleagues and how do they prefer

to

communicate? The recent Mars Drinks UK report, which surveyed 2000 office workers, found that family is the most popular topic of conversation

don’t think that technology has made communicating in the office any easier. In fact, what is great to see in the research is that nearly half (45.83 per cent) prefer a face-to-face chat to catch up with colleagues, rather than communicating from behind a screen. These statistics are a little surprising at a time when email and social media are common platforms for communication, but it is encouraging that conversations still happen on a more personal level in the office.

staff. Another increasingly popular option is to have a dedicated breakout area as a flexible space that can not only allow staff to take a breather and grab a bite to eat, but can also play an increasingly important role in the modern workplace as an informal area for internal meetings as an alternative to the boardroom.

Keep on communicating

The office environment has changed dramatically over the last decade. Despite having to deal with longer working hours, the research from Mars Drinks UK revealed that a third of

legal among

colleagues. Celebrity gossip and the weather were the next most popular themes, and other favourite topics include food, relationships, children and health issues. One in ten lawyers said they enjoyed a bit of friendly office banter about making a round of tea or coffee and one in three admitted they had told a colleague a secret in the past.

Although technological advances have changed the way lawyers communicate to a certain extent, it is positive to see that real, upfront conversations are still the preferred method of communication in the work place.

With the legal profession spending more time in the office than others, it isn’t surprising that lawyers spend the most time on the phone. They make on average 27 phone calls and receive 27, while other UK office workers make 20 and receive 22. Lawyers are more likely than any other professional to pick up the phone to speak to co-workers too, with a quarter (25.46 per cent) saying it is their favourite method of communication.

Despite statistics showing that legal professionals send 32 and receive 30 emails on average, and spend nine minutes and 15 seconds having a sneaky look at social networking sites Facebook and Twitter each day, the majority (66.2 per cent)

Stop for a catch-up Finding time to step away from the desk for a few minutes during a hectic day can help to boost productivity and happiness in the workplace and with the statistics showing that legal professionals prefer to communicate with colleagues on a more personal, friendly level, taking a break to have a cup of tea or coffee can be the perfect way to catch-up with workmates.

The average lawyer manages to pause just long enough to have three cups of tea or coffee a day and spends just 27 minutes and 43 seconds on average for a lunch break. When you consider the hours that the legal profession spends in the office, it’s clear that employers should ensure their staff have a space where colleagues can get together, away from their computer screens, to chat and unwind. Having onsite catering facilities is one way in which firms can help to look after the welfare of their

professionals think the office has become a much less formal environment, with nearly half saying they have more fun at work now than ever before. Along with this statistic, the survey also showed that 50 per cent of legal professionals are happy in their jobs, which is great news for employers, as inevitably happy workers are hard workers.

Although technological

advances have changed the way lawyers communicate to a certain extent, it is positive to see that real, upfront conversations are still the

preferred method of communication in the work place. However, with the longer working hours and shorter breaks, employers need to create a positive culture to ensure that this direct communication continues and encourage employees to take regular breaks and catch-up with colleagues away from their desks. LM

For more information on Mars Drinks UK, please visit: www.marsdrinks.co.uk,

or for Mars Incorporated, please visit: www.mars.com.

www.lawyer-monthly.com

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