b'BACK TO NAVIGATIONPeopleA law firms workforce is its most criticalresource and its greatest responsibility. A firms responsibility to its workforce should be based on a clear understanding and commitment to their ethical and human values. The proven rewards from this approach are a more engaged, aligned and productive workforce that provides the most valuable advocacy of the firms brand. The COVID pandemic is the most significant disruption to the legal industry in generations. Changes to the working arrangements for staff, combined with the additional personal pressures on staff, has placed chronic stress on many people. The disruption has also impacted firms ability to deliver the existing programs that have been developed over the last few years to help support their staff and even to effectively monitor their wellbeing. There is general agreement that flexible working will play a much larger part in the weekly and annual working behaviours of many employees moving forward. While many long-held concerns were tested and found to be untrue or solvable firms will need to continue to focus on improving the monitoring and delivery of wellbeing programs for some time. Respecting the important role of work to the individual is a critical foundation of this responsibility. Work provides the financial means for people to live and pursue their personal and family goals as well as contributing to careers, security and purpose. But these rewards also require hard work, commitment and sometimes some sacrifice, which can affect wellbeing. The condition of someones relationship with their workplace affects their performance as well as their wellbeing. High functioning people and teams are led, developed and nurtured using progressive policies, structures, processes and organisational cultures. Firms that understand these growing expectations are increasingly well positioned to attract and retain the best people and support them to do their best work. There are important interrelationships between the different elements that are measured in this report. For example, flexible working makes an important contribution to both gender equality as well as physical and psychological wellbeing. Diversity and inclusion also has a significant impact on psychological wellbeing. Employees are also key stakeholders in a firms sustainability program and they are becoming increasingly interested in how a firms purpose and values demonstrate how it treats its people alongside how it supports the community and the planet in the delivery of its business aims. The willingness of employees to participate in a firms sustainability program can also indicate a higher level of engagement and can build their belonging and loyalty to the firm.21'