In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environment, managing work-life balance can be tricky, impossible even, for many managers and their employees alike. The accounting and finance world is filled with stressors, from demanding clients and a full workload to federal regulation changes and long working hours; add in the routine of everyday life and you’ve got a recipe for fatigue in the finance department.
Jon Gordon, speaker, consultant, and author of the Shark and the Goldfish: Positive Ways to Thrive During Waves of Change said it best: “Too many Americans are beaten down, burned out and completely de-motivated. And if leaders don’t strive to change that – to create a positive culture that energizes people – there will be dire consequences.” Furthermore, as the world continues to grapple with the lingering effects of the pandemic, it’s imperative that leaders understand their role and how they can support their team during this unprecedented time and going forward. Follow our tips for managing work-life balance and how to reduce stress and fatigue in the workplace.
Achieving Work-Life Balance: Strategies for Managing Stress
Once upon a time ago, the lines between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to encroach on your personal life. Many of us are working from home with a short walk from the kitchen to the home office – and maintaining a work-life balance is no simple feat. And as long as you’re working, juggling the demands of a career and personal life will be a continual ordeal. Here’s how to manage your stress in the workplace:
Be Mindful of Time Management and Triage Your Tasks
When you’re facing a pressing deadline, the last thing you want is to be pulled away from your work for a meeting that isn’t a good use of your time (or better yet, that could have been outlined in an email). Similarly, if you’re always staying late at the office or answering your email on the weekends, ask yourself this, “Am I setting a positive and healthy example for my team?” Because whether you like it or not, your employees are paying close attention to your habits and will follow your lead. Lastly, it’s OK to say “no” to a project for which you don’t have the professional bandwidth; taking on too many responsibilities can result in poor-quality of work and burnout.
Be Adaptable and Learn to Accept What is in Your Control and What Isn’t - Managing Work-Life Balance
Some things are out of your control.
The problem often is that you can’t plan for everything, so wiggle room is key. You may be thinking, “But what about my schedule?” The truth is that no matter how well you monitor your Trello board (or other project management tool), things are going to come up. The fix? Don’t fight it. When times are hectic, you may have to choose which activity/project/emergency to brush aside and which ones to tackle. Use your best discernment and get done what you can.
Be Proactive in Taking Advantage of Workplace Resources
The challenges brought on by the pandemic shed light on the significance of employees’ mental health. It’s perfectly fine to recognize that you’re feeling over-stressed and need to step away to take a breather. In fact, a culture that encourages employees to talk about stress and seek assistance is one that will stand the test of time, even in the face of adversity.
Ways to Reduce Stress Affecting Finance & Accounting Teams
Without question, some positions are more stressful than others. And because every employee copes with or conveys stress in different ways, it’s difficult to identify and address the root cause. Consider this: the average American adult now spends one-third of their entire life working. Another staggering survey found that 47 percent of employees are “unlikely” to take time off for stress. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to alleviate the stress from your team:
Reinforce a Positive Company Culture
Having a workspace that people feel comfortable spending their days in can do wonders for company morale. Even more so, it can help your business thrive. In fact, studies have shown that a strong company culture can:
Increase employee retention
Boost a brand’s reputation
Increase employee productivity
And surprisingly, more than 50 percent of organizations struggle to retain valuable talent. Maintaining company culture shouldn’t be for show; it’s a matter of survival for your business. Here’s a few tips for cultivating a positive company culture:
Demonstrate the values you want to see in your employees.
Schedule team-building events, whether that’s onsite or offsite.
Give your employees opportunities to advance their career.
Celebrate the small wins, not just the big wins.
Building an attractive workplace culture will undoubtedly further the success of your organization, and above all, reduce stress in your employees.
Marry Efficiency With Technology
We spend over eight hours a day, five days a week working (even more if you’re commuting to a physical office space). Some of us may even spend more of our waking hours focused on hitting deadlines than spending time with our actual families. Constant stress can cause burn out, resulting in unproductivity. And the more stressed employees are, the less work they get done, and the more businesses suffer. It’s a vicious cycle that’s hard to break. However, embracing technology can alleviate the burden and put your employees back in control of their time.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Stress is intensified when employees are unable to engage with their colleagues and direct reports. However, when employees are able to communicate with those they work with, including leadership, it will ease much of their stress. Just knowing the lines of communication are open between you and them helps immensely. Be available for one-on-one-meetings and listen when your employees need to confide in you.
Strengthen the Resilience of Your Workforce
In today’s global climate, resilience has become a key differentiator between a profitable business and one that’s not. And according to The Rising Resilient report, just 30 percent of employees are resilient. Here’s how to bolster a workforce to become resilient:
Develop a culture that supports change. Change is constant. Employees at all levels have a role to play in successfully directing change.
Promote a connected workforce. Employees who feel connected and like the belong are more productive and committed to their company.
Invest in employee training and tools. Make it possible for your employees to continue to learn and improve upon their skill set through training and development opportunities.
Bring In Extra Reinforcements to Ensure Work-Life Balance for Existing Workforce
During busy times like tax season or end-of-month close, it’s easy for your accounting team to get stressed out. And if you’re like most businesses, you only have enough staff in place to handle day-to-day responsibilities. Adding in an extra project could throw the whole team off balance and cause undue strain. So, if you want to reduce workplace stress for your team, it’s time to be proactive about hiring a helping hand or two (or three). And if you’re like most companies, you don’t have the time or budget to hire new talent. Moreover, you don’t even know where to begin.
… that’s where we come in. Here at Personiv, we’ve worked with companies just like yours who struggle to hire top talent within their allotted budget. Fortunately, we’ve been around the block or two and have partnered with businesses – small to large – find the best employees, save money and most importantly, alleviate the stress that comes with an overworked team.
To explore how we can help you overcome stress and fatigue in the workplace, while managing work-life balance, get in touch with our outsourcing experts.