b'PEOPLE| LEGAL SECTOR| 2020SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHTPHYSICAL WELLBEINGLaw firms have long understood the link between their teams health and the levels of engagement and productivity of their workforce.Health is a state of holistic physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Increasingly, medical researchers are finding new evidence of the interdependence between our physical health and other areas including the resilience of our mental and social states.Law firms were one of the most proactive and most highly publicised groups responding to the unknown risk of COVID by closing offices and implementing remote working to protect the health and safety of their employees and clients COVID has significantly shifted the way many of us work and the demands of personal life which has combined with our personal choices to put pressure on our physical wellbeing. The early evidence suggests that people have responded, and their physical health has been affected in different ways. Some report that the flexibility of home-based working and agile management provided better work life balance and allowed them to prioritise selfcare, exercise and healthy eating. But others have found additional workload and family commitments has increased their unhealthy habits. Many people are finding that COVID working from home makes them more sedentary by spending longer working hours at their desks with less opportunities for movement and exercise. These long intense hours in combination with personal commitments can reduce the amount of health leisure-time and lead to poor choices in other areas including nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, many home offices are poorly suited for long habitation with poor ergonomics, lighting, heating and ventilation and opportunities for incidental movement.While some physical health issues can be overcome, many others have a significant and enduring impact on individuals lives and life expectancy as well as the collateral effects on the wellbeing of families and partners.Many AusLSA members already recognise their broader obligations to their workforce but they also know that improved workplace health and wellbeing delivers real financial savings and productivity through: increased productivity, alertness and concentration among staff staff who feel valued with better morale, satisfaction and motivation decreased mental ill-health and other work and non-work-related illness reduced sick leave and fewer workers compensation claims increased staff retention and attractiveness to new employees improved corporate citizenship and image. Employers, in addition to social responsibility and the benefits to organisational health, have a legal duty of care for their employees. FORMAL POLICY PUBLISHED POLICYPOLICYPUBLISHEDYes 91% No 6% Yes 34% No 66%Not Reported 3%36'