News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Pinsent Masons rolls out Mindful Business Charter across its Scottish offices

Posted: 8th June 2020

Charter to protect workforce wellbeing in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic

Multinational business Pinsent Masons has rolled out the ground breaking wellbeing initiative, the Mindful Business Charter, across its Scottish offices as it ramps up efforts eradicate negative working practices that can impact mental health and wellbeing.

The Mindful Business Charter, devised by Pinsent Masons, Barclays and Addleshaw Goddard, brought corporates and their legal services providers together to reach a shared agenda for reducing unnecessary causes of stress and pressure in the workplace and thereby ensuring higher team performances.

All of the signatories committed to a set of principles centred on improved communication, respect for rest periods, and considerate delegation of tasks and management of deadlines. Performance against these principles is monitored as part of relationship review meetings between banks and the financial services legal teams.

Over the last 18 months, Pinsent Masons has rolled out the Charter across a number of its global teams and has now asked its entire UK workforce, including Scottish staff in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, to pledge to the Charter and adhere to the principles.

Pinsent Masons believes that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic this has never been more important. Senior partner Richard Foley, said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our people has firmly been on the agenda for many years now and all the evidence suggests that properly rested, valued and respected teams will perform better.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted just how important it is to support our colleagues and clients as we all grapple with the reality of working through the lockdown. These are tough times for a multitude of personal and professional reasons and recognising and responding to this is crucial to sustaining wellbeing and maintaining performance.

“The MBC roll out sends a powerful message to everyone that they shouldn’t compromise their mental health as they seek to adjust to the new norm, juggling work and family commitments and dealing with the personal impact of the pandemic.

“As an agile business we were prepared from a practical and tech perspective to swiftly respond to the lockdown and have the majority of our people work from home immediately.

“While this is positive from a business continuity perspective, we cannot ignore the impact that this sudden shift in daily life will have as many work irregular or longer hours attempting to combine the responsibilities of work and home life. We need everyone at all levels of the business to recognise that maintaining your health and wellbeing is critical, and negative working practices that inhibit that need to be addressed.

“The Charter is about reducing the unnecessary cause of stress and pressure. It’s about open and sensible conversations. Ultimately it’s about high-performance and about engaging with our clients about the benefits this will bring to them and us.

“The UK-wide roll out of the Charter means the firm pledges to promote a culture of openness that will improve performance by ensuring our people are mindful of working practices that might create unnecessary stress.”

This includes committing to provide appropriate team cover so individuals aren’t interrupted during holiday or on non-working days, being open to push-back on unrealistic deadlines, and hosting regular ‘speak your mind’ sessions in which teams are encouraged to highlight concerns or practices which might impact upon wellbeing.

Since its launch in 2018 a total of 54 institutions, law firms and corporates have signed up to the Mindful Business Charter.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here