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Using data to manage workplace psychosocial health

By Malavika Santhebennur | |6 minute read

As in-house counsel teams face resourcing and budgeting constraints, a general counsel has underscored the value of using data to manage workflows.

Ahead of the Corporate Counsel Summit 2024, Youi Insurance general counsel Bianca Lau said using data-driven insights could help employers support their employees’ psychosocial health.

It could also help in-house legal team leaders determine how their team could meet their workload demands, she told Lawyers Weekly.


Lau, who has been building her legal team over the past five years, said she received support from her organisation around resourcing and recruitment of additional lawyers. However, she realised that there is not always a strong business case for increasing headcount.

This led her to identify other approaches to handling the workload, and as such, collaborating with the IT department to design an in-house legal intake system.

While this system was initially similar to off-the-shelf products, it evolved into a single source of truth for every piece of legal advice provided by in-house counsel to different departments within her organisation.

“We can see what the team is working on, what type of work it is, who it’s for, and how long it’s taking us to provide that piece of advice. For example, I can tell through the platform that we provided 1,200 pieces of legal advice to other teams in our organisation,” Lau said.

“This gives us the ability to leverage resources. It also helps us put up business cases, whether that is to request another lawyer, outsource certain tasks, or purchase tech tools to alleviate pain points.”

Lau’s comments precede her session at the summit, where she will explain why using data-driven insights could help in-house legal teams manage resourcing, determine trigger points for recruiting lawyers, and enhance the team’s structure to increase efficiencies.

What data can reveal about workloads

Data and statistics enable legal teams to manage the wellbeing of employees because it helps them communicate to the employers in their language, Lau said.

Moreover, the data could reveal patterns of seasonality and allow legal teams to identify certain periods where workloads surge (such as the end of the financial year) and find solutions to manage temporary demands.

“For example, we can ask ourselves if we need an external temporary secondee. We may need to talk to our clients about reallocating work during those busy periods. We need to manage staff leave so we’re prepared,” Lau said.

“The solution is not always throwing another human into the team. I encourage in-house counsel to step back and find holistic solutions and different ways to manage demand.”

Data is not being harnessed enough

Despite the benefits of using data to manage employee psychosocial hazards, an inaugural global workplace survey by Ashurst found that only 12 per cent of respondents indicated that they use data analytics and technology to manage psychosocial risk even though 30 per cent ranked this risk in their top 10 organisational risks.

Only 22 per cent of respondents measured the impact of psychosocial risk and surveys were the primary measurement tool used.

This suggests that “most organisations are not getting [the] maximum value and insights from their available data and are not aggregating data to identify trends and patterns”, according to the report.

The importance of managing psychosocial risks in the workplace has been brought into sharper focus with changes to regulations in April 2023.

For the first time, the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2011 prescribes how employers must identify and manage hazards and risks to workers’ psychological health and safety after amendments were made to the regulations.

The amendments require organisations to consider and review approaches to managing psychosocial risks and fostering mentally healthy workplaces (which include engaging and consulting with workers).

Automate and ruthlessly prioritise

“A leader’s number one responsibility is making sure that the wellbeing of your team is looked after,” Lau said.

“If you’re not doing that, they’re not going to be performing their best to protect the organisation and help it achieve its strategic goals.”

Automation can also help in-house counsel streamline tasks, with Lau stating that her legal team has automated non-disclosure agreements.

“We’ve set up the right framework so things like lower legal risk contracts don’t necessarily get touched by the legal team, which enables them to focus on business strategy,” she said.

Finally, in-house lawyers are required to ruthlessly prioritise their work and eliminate tasks that are not contributing to the organisation’s overall strategy, Lau said.

She concluded: “Once you start understanding the power of data, it makes your life so much easier as a team leader. I want everyone else to benefit just as much as I am from having great metrics that support the output of the legal team and the value we add to our organisations.”

To hear more from Bianca Lau about how legal teams could identify and manage psychosocial risks and alleviate pressure through innovative solutions, come along to the Corporate Counsel Summit 2024.

It will be held on Thursday, 2 May 2024 at The Star, Sydney.

Click here to buy tickets and don’t miss out!

For more information, including agenda and speakers, click here.

This summit is produced by Captivate Events. If you need help planning your next event, email director Jim Hall at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jack Campbell

Jack Campbell

Jack is the editor at HR Leader.