BY KELLY CAPUTO
The Tuesday morning train that I take into the office shows absolutely no signs that we spent the past two years, and are still experiencing, a global pandemic. It is absolutely packed to the brim with individuals on the way to their jobs in Manhattan; so much so, that all seats are full, and some must stand in the aisle for the 40-minute commute, elbow to elbow, and hanging on to the handrails above head.
Thankfully, I am able to find some calm in my morning by putting in my Airpods and listening to a 10-minute meditation designed for morning commuters. It may sound silly to some where the need to be vigilant is vital (we’re New Yorkers, it’s in our blood!), but I can close my eyes, mediate, and feel a bit clearer; a bit better, and a bit closer to me by starting my day off on the right foot. The best part is that this meditation comes entirely thanks to our workplace, who has provided premium access to the Calm App as a continuation of our commitment to Wellness Initiatives.
Law firms admittedly get a bad reputation, particularly at Big Law, where there are no set hours but you should expect to be working before the sun is up, and lon(nnn)g after it has set. The work/life balance can seem more of a pipe dream than something that is actively practiced. So when I interview potential job candidates and tell them that we encourage people to actually have a life outside of work, they show a full gamut of emotions: shocked, happy, and usually even just a little bit skeptical.
And yet, it’s very real here; just unfortunately too under practiced industry wide. At Jayaram, we really pride ourselves on our dedication to work/life balance and on the overall wellness of our employees. We put their skepticism to rest every single day and encourage them to rest easily in knowing that we support them on this important front.
This all starts at the very top. For example, our founder Vivek starts each day with a run and yoga. He recently posted in our firm Slack channel about his yoga class and “In an industry that can be so cutthroat and adversarial, yoga is always a welcome reminder that leading with love always wins in the long run.” What boss has said that to you lately? Many of us, myself included, are devoted yogis as well. My favorite class is my Wednesday Vinyasa: a mid-week reminder to disconnect and find peace.
And everyone finds their own ways of practicing wellness and mindfulness. Even more of us are runners. Our very own Litigation Lead and Partner, Liz, just ran the Chicago Marathon recently. We have those who love spinning, Pilates, or sports such as soccer and baseball. Don’t even get me started on the singers and musicians in this crew. And the best part is that we all take the time to actively practice these activities because we know it’s important to our well-being at the end of the day.
Which is also to say that, apart from our work tying each of us together, our individual commitment to our own wellness does the same.
The world today is, simply put, dreary. We are, hopefully, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after the COVID pandemic darkness. The current political and social landscape is not one that inspires much positivity and optimism. And working at a law firm is inarguably often serious work (though we find our fun!). That is why it’s more important now, than ever, that our firm continues to make a serious commitment to the wellness of our community.
By committing to growing the ‘caring’ part of our company, we are showing that we’re not just speaking empty words; we really believe that investing in the wellness of your employees is of the utmost importance to serving our clients even better. Run clubs, book clubs, and subscribing to meditative apps for our team are just the first steps on our path into Wellness Initiatives. We look forward to sharing our journey with you and encourage you to go practice your own actions of wellness—whatever that may look like for you!