Work-life balance is a hot topic in business these days. It’s an issue that affects everyone, from employees to managers and even CEOs, and accounting firms in particular need to pay attention.
The term “work-life balance” refers to the way you manage your time–and it’s more than just having enough hours in the day for everything you need to do. Work-life balance also means making sure your work doesn’t negatively impact other areas of your life (like family or friends).
In this article we’ll look at why accounting firms should focus on improving their employees’ work-life balance, what exactly constitutes good work-life balance practices, and how these practices affect retention rates within an organization.
The Challenges of Work-Life Balance
Work-Life balance is a challenge for many people. The demands of work, and the stress that comes with it, can make it difficult to find time for family and friends. And if you’re not careful, it may also lead to burnout or other health problems.
The most obvious challenge for accounting firms is long hours–the average full-time employee works 47 hours per week according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s nearly double what we should be working according to the American Psychological Association (APA). It’s also more than five times longer than what most Europeans work!
The Benefits of Work-Life Balance
Work-Life Balance is the idea that employees should have time to enjoy their personal lives and spend time with their families. It’s also important for companies because it increases productivity, morale and retention.
- Increased Productivity: When you’re working long hours, it can be difficult to maintain focus on your tasks. This leads to mistakes that cost businesses money in lost revenue or wasted resources (like rework). A happy employee will be more productive because they feel valued by their employer; they also won’t need as much supervision or direction from management because they know what needs doing without being told every step of the way!
- Improved Morale: Working long hours can lead to burnout which results in low morale among staff members who feel like they don’t have enough time off from work during normal business hours–and even worse when there isn’t any paid vacation days available at all! But when employees know there are policies in place regarding vacation days/sick leave benefits etc., then everyone feels better about coming into work knowing that if something comes up unexpectedly like an emergency surgery appointment then there won’t be any negative consequences whatsoever on either side (employee vs company).
The Impact of Work-Life Balance on Different Groups
- Women: A study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation found that women are more likely than men to leave their jobs because of a lack of work-life balance.
- Immigrants: According to research from the University of California at Berkeley, immigrants are less satisfied with their jobs when compared to native-born workers. In fact, nearly half of all immigrants say they would leave their current job if they could find another one that better accommodates their needs outside work.
- Millennials: A recent Gallup poll shows that millennials have higher rates of job satisfaction than any other generation but still report more stress and anxiety at work than older generations.
- Gen Zers: According to Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends report, “Gen Zers” (those born between 1995 and 2004) place greater importance on work-life balance than other generations did at similar ages–and this trend will continue into adulthood as well!
Tips for Improving Work-Life Balance
- Flexible hours. Many people work best in the early morning or late at night, so it’s important for companies to allow employees to set their own schedules.
- Remote working. If you can’t give your employees flexible hours, consider allowing them to work remotely and set their own schedule for when they want to come into the office (or not). This will help prevent burnout by giving them control over how much time they spend commuting each day, which is often one of the biggest sources of stress for Americans today.
- Time off for mental health days: In addition to allowing employees flexibility with their schedules and remote working options, companies should also offer paid sick leave and family leave policies so that workers can take care of themselves if they’re feeling overwhelmed by stress or illness–without worrying about losing paychecks because they need time off from work
The Role of Technology in Improving Work-Life Balance
Accounting firms can use technology to improve work-life balance. Here are some examples:
- Automatic scheduling: This software allows the employee to enter their availability and then the system will automatically schedule their shifts based on those preferences. Employees can also use this feature if they have a conflict with an existing shift, such as a doctor’s appointment or family event.
- Automated reminders: This feature allows employees to set up notifications for upcoming deadlines or meetings so that they don’t forget about them accidentally. The notifications may be sent via email or text message (SMS).
The Role of Leadership in Improving Work-Life Balance
Lead by example: As a leader, you have the power to set expectations and promote a healthy work environment. If your team members see that you are committed to maintaining a good work-life balance, they will be more likely to follow suit.
Set expectations: Make sure that everyone on your team understands what is expected of them in terms of hours worked and performance levels. This will help prevent burnout or other issues related to overworking employees who feel like they’re not being compensated fairly for their efforts (or underperforming employees who feel like they’re being asked too much).
Promote a healthy environment: Encourage employees who are struggling with balancing their personal lives with their professional lives by offering flexible scheduling options such as telecommuting days or working from home once per week–and make sure those policies aren’t just words on paper but actually enforced!
The Role of Employees in Improving Work-Life Balance
You can also advocate for yourself by setting boundaries and taking breaks. For example, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by work and need a break, don’t hesitate to ask your manager if it’s okay to step away from the office for an hour or two. If your employer doesn’t allow such requests (or if they do but only under certain circumstances), then set up regular appointments with friends or family members during which no work-related topics are discussed at all–just enjoy each other’s company!
This approach may seem counterintuitive at first glance: wouldn’t these kinds of activities take time away from getting things done? But in reality, they’ll actually make you more productive when they’re over because they give your mind a chance to recharge before returning home again with renewed energy levels that will help keep stress levels low throughout the rest of the evening/weekend/etcetera…
As you can see, there are many benefits to focusing on work-life balance. It helps employees feel more satisfied with their jobs and increases retention rates by reducing burnout. If you want your accounting firm to be successful, it’s important that you make sure your employees are happy and healthy.