With the pandemic, financial, political, and social unrest, financial professionals are experiencing an unprecedented level of stress at work. According to a recent survey by staffing firm Accuntemps, 52 percent of financial professionals are stressed at work, and 60 percent have reported a significant increase in stress levels over the past five years. Accountants that are stressed out can have a negative effect on the firm’s morale and productivity, as well as increased turnover due to burnout. To address this problem, managers should be actively looking for signs of burnout in their employees and working on ways to alleviate stress levels.
Here are a few tips for managers:
Help Prioritize: Understand the workload and meet individually with team members to help prioritize workloads and set realistic expectations. Look at the resources you have. Are they overworked? You might need to hire a temp to remove some of the mundane tasks and lighten your team’s load.
Encourage Time off: Encourage and promote a work-life balance within your firm-advocate for well-deserved vacations. Offer additional time-off incentives and see your employees return to work with more drive and passion.
Share Resources: Provide your firm resources to reduce stress. Encourage them to participate in stress management webinars, wellness programs, and yoga or meditation classes. Set a good example and take part in these activities as well.
Separation of Work and Home: Understand that there has to be a division of work and home life. With remote work on the rise, it’s easy to expect your team to be available 24/7. Don’t fall into that trap. When you respect your employee’s time, they will be more loyal and dedicated when they are “on the clock.”
Make it Enjoyable: The littlest of things go a long way. Hide and seek 2nd Wednesdays where you hide a $50 Amazon card somewhere in the office. Have a paper plane flying contest. Anything that gets employees out of their chairs, moving, and socializing.
Be Genuine: Take an interest in what employees are doing and what they are achieving. Understand that their success is your success, whether personal or professional.
In addition to the above tips, employees can also take steps to alleviate stress levels:
Protect Your Time: Staying organized is key to finishing your projects. Rather than juggling two things at once, allot time throughout the day to focus on critical assignments.
Speak Up: If you feel like you have too much on your plate, talk to your manager about your workload, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Take Breaks: If you feel overwhelmed, don’t stay behind your desk. Get up and take a walk. Go outside and take off your shoes, and breathe in some fresh air.
Exercise: You don’t have to go to a gym to exercise, but you must exercise. You can do great activities in your office chair, like yoga or even controlled breathing.
Give 100 Percent: Whether at work or home, give 100%. When you are at home, be at home. Most of us cannot go home 100%. Instead, we’re 40% at home and 60% still at work. Practice going to work and leaving home at home. Then when you go home, leave work at work. You will find a richer, more abundant experience in both places.