“Keep Calm and Cary on” has been increasingly difficult to do for accountants across the nation.
In recent surveys by staffing firm Accuntemps, 52 percent of financial professionals say they are stressed at work. While 60 percent are reporting stress has dramatically increased in the past five years.
- Among the 28 U.S. cities in the survey, Indianapolis (46%), Dallas, and Raleigh (43% each) have the highest percentages of workers who noted increased burnout from a year ago.
- Women (38%) were more likely than men (30%) to report a rise in burnout.
- Nearly an equal percentage of respondents with children in their household (35%) and those without (33%) said they are more worn out from work today versus 12 months ago.
- More employees ages 25 to 40 (37%) than those ages 41 to 54 (32%) and 55 and older (29%) said they are experiencing a higher degree of burnout.
What is causing this stress?
It seems obvious.
With the virus, financial, political, and social unrest that financial professionals face throughout their personal and private life is crushing. In the past year, they have increased their workloads and looming deadlines (33 percent), joined with the unrealistic expectations of partners and clients (22 percent), making it challenging to attain a work-life balance (22 percent).
Accountants that are stressed out will have a great negative effect on a firm as a whole, including decreased morale and productivity, as well as increased turnover due to burnout.
With 88% of senior managers revealing that they are worried about staff retentions, managers should be actively looking for signs of burnout – like missed deadlines or excessive overtime. Talk to your employees and try to pinpoint stresses within the firm.
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 come back to work with more drive and passion.
- Share resources. Provide your firm resources to reduce stress. Encourage them to take part 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 70% of the world doing it at least once a week. Do not blur the lines, especially when remote work is on the rise. Working from home is becoming more common, and it’s easy to expect your team to be available 25/7. 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 Wednesday’s where you hide a $50 amazon card somewhere in the office. Have a paper plane flying contents. 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. Personal or professional.
Here are some things employees can do
- 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. You might have too much on your plate. Talk with your manager about your workload, and don’t be afraid 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; you just need to. You can do some 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 can not 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.
If you are looking to make your financial reporting stress-free take a look at the Reach Reporting solution that automates beautiful financial reports in minutes.