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FDs and CFOs expect to be the most stressed workers by 2020

Finance is renowned for having some of the most stressed workers. But with increasing pressure and a lack of effective wellbeing measures, FDs and CFOs across the globe predict fatigue will soon dominate their lives.
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Finance is by no means a desk job, a Robert Half report explains. Not only do the duties of finance professionals include looking at data, but also at the factors driving data. They need to converse with teams across the business and maintain focus on corporate governance. To sum it up: “Finance teams comprise of stressed workers.”

Their stress levels will likely increase. The digitisation of business processes and mounting compliance requirements are but some of the extra pressures being placed on the finance professional’s shoulders.

“The finance function is facing what is possibly the biggest era of transformation in its history,” Robert Half said. “Teams are trying to respond to the shifting demands of businesses – and it won’t be an easy battle.”

Having analysed the opinions of over 200 FDs and CFOs in the UK, as well as 1,800 respondents across the globe, Robert Half found that finance professionals predict stress levels will skyrocket.

In the UK, 78 per cent believe stress will increase before 2020, with 31 per cent suggesting it will become a powerful deterrent to work. While the numerous factors laid out by Robert Half will play a crucial part in that rise, finance professionals also believe over-zealous workloads (51 per cent), growing corporate expectations (49 per cent) and a lack of staff (40 per cent) will hamper their wellbeing.

Only 16 per cent of respondents believe FDs and CFOs won’t be the most stressed workers in two years’ time. This discrepancy in estimations – the majority feeling that work will take over their lives – is echoed world-wide:

Region Stress levels will increase by 2020 (%) Stress levels will not increase by 2020 (%)
UAE 83% 11%
Switzerland 81% 19%
Germany 79% 18%
Chile 78% 17%
Singapore 78% 19%
UK 78% 16%
Brazil 77% 16%
Australia 76% 18%
New Zealand 75% 18%
Hong Kong 75% 25%
Belgium 73% 26%
France 71% 22%
The Netherlands 67% 24%

 

Matt Weston, director at Robert Half UK, said: “Organisations need to remember that tired, unhappy and stressed workers make for an unproductive and less efficient workforce. Finance professionals are no exception.”

However, Weston stressed, the research highlights a widespread failure to implement effective measures to combat stress. “Only a third of finance departments regularly discuss health and wellness – while less than one in ten don’t talk about it all,” he added. “The remaining 59 per cent discuss it occasionally.

“More businesses need to rethink working practices, establish a dialogue with finance staff around their needs and plan ahead to bring in interim workers to help them cope with busy periods and remove some of the pressure.”


Establishing a workplace culture bent on eradicating stress and fatigue

Being attuned to the needs of workers both inside and outside of the office will offer benefits, especially with stress and fatigue reigning supreme.

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is a senior reporter at Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

Real Business