Finding The Right Balance By Jessica Holton with Mark Holton on Jun 8, 2023
This month we are looking at something a bit different. I have again asked my daughter Jessica (Jess) Holton, a 34-year-old skilled graduate journalist working in digital media to comment on the work-life balance of the new generation of employees, particularly in the accounting industry and how to manage them. Here are some of Jess’s thoughts;
The hustle culture of the early 2000s has taken a back seat in recent years with flexibility, mental well-being and maintaining a healthy work/life balance coming to the forefront of business. While this concept may be difficult to implement in industries such as Accounting with firm deadlines and client demand, it is essential to produce the best results from your staff and keep up with future generations’ priorities.
With many workers opting for flexibility over financial compensation, it’s imperative to create a business plan with this factored in. Some companies exchange overtime for days off while others allow flexible working times so that their employees are able to begin and finish when suits them. It instills trust and boosts morale when staff feel as though they don’t need to be micromanaged to reach their goals.
Flexibility within the workplace extends all the way back home. Many companies have adopted hybrid working models allowing staff to work from home and the office if they choose either part- or full-time. After the 2020 lockdown period this became the norm with many workers discovering, they had found comfort and satisfaction working from home.
Businesses seamlessly pivoted into the digital realm by utilising collaborative software like Zoom, Slack or Workflow Max. Some companies have taken this model a step further, implementing a WFA or Work From Anywhere approach, allowing employees to take their work on holiday or an overseas sojourn.
Mental well-being is at the forefront of any healthy company’s practices. The importance of managing burn-out and stress can only benefit a business and its staff. Creating a safe space for which personal leave can be used for mental health days will allow your employees to feel supported by your management. This improves the work/life balance of your company and increases loyalty, motivation, and the overall wellbeing of your workplace across the board.
Some companies have been encouraging staff to seek treatment, offering access to pre-paid psychologists and mental health apps such as ‘Headspace’. This would be included in their health benefit schemes much like a fitness passport is offered. Another option is encouraging team bonding sessions which are centered around mental well-being activities like group yoga or hiking.
Maintaining a healthy work and life balance is a tricky feat for those in the Accounting industry. Being self-employed is an option which while there is a fair amount of hustle needed to get a small business off the ground, your sacrifices will pay off by setting your own hours and expectations to clients.
Accounting is great in that the option to work from home or hybrid working is usually an easy transition for an employer to take. With this industry being mostly in the digital and software space, clients are able to reach you from anywhere.
It’s been proven that given the option; many workers prefer this method of work with 66% of those surveyed by Flex Jobs preferring to work from home after the pandemic. 75% of participants agreed that work stress impacted their mental health leading to anxiety and depression which can be easily mitigated by creating a better work/life balance.
During peak season it can become chaotic and understandably, stress amongst staff can reach fever pitch. It’s important during this time to utilise the above methods to support your employees so that when faced with high density workloads, there is reprieve on the horizon. Prioritising mental health and the flexibility to create a strong work/life balance within your workplace and for your staff will only increase morale, productivity, and contribute to the overall well-being of your business.
To chat further with Jess about the younger accountants in your firm and how to best manage them please email me at: [email protected] and I will put you in contact with her.