Between managing the COVID-19 pandemic, navigating a new normal and scrambling to finish everything necessary for year-end, your finance team may be feeling a bit burned out right now.
But it could help to know that you and your staff aren’t alone. Employees in a variety of jobs and industries across the country are currently burning the candle at both ends. They’re working longer hours each week, and many are putting in extra hours on the weekends.
All this has made burnout more common, as shown by recent research. Over a third (34%) of workers surveyed by Robert Half said they’re more burned out than they were a year ago. And 45% said they’re just as burned out now as they were then.
Who and why?
For CFOs managing a variety of functions and people, it’s worth noting that burnout may be impacting younger employees more than seasoned workers. According to the survey, feelings of increased burnout were cited by:
- 37% of workers age 25-40
- 32% of those age 41-54, and
- 29% of those 55 and older.
What’s causing the additional stress and fatigue? A variety of factors have contributed to increased burnout rates among employees. But for 30% of survey respondents, the top reason they were feeling burned out was due to having a fuller plate at work. With many companies experiencing layoffs and furloughs because of the coronavirus, employees may be taking on additional tasks to help keep businesses running, which could be increasing their feelings of burnout.
Even those who are teleworking may feel burned out because of pressure (real or perceived) to work constantly to get tasks done. In a different Robert Half survey, 45% of remote employees regularly worked more than eight hours each workday. What’s more, 68% worked on weekends.
It’s not surprising that burnout is so prevalent right now, and the annual winter blues only add to it. But you can take steps to improve the situation. Here are two suggestions from Robert Half to help alleviate burnout:
- Act as a role model. Take vacation days or paid time off from time to time, and encourage employees to do the same. CFOs and managers should also make an effort to show they’re focused on their own well-being in other ways (e.g., much-needed breaks, disconnecting on the weekends). That way, employees know it’s not just OK to decompress, but it’s actively encouraged.
- Prioritize ruthlessly. From a big-picture perspective, narrow your to-do list down to only the most critical tasks, making them the top focus over everything else. And teach each finance function (e.g., Payroll, A/P, A/R) to maintain a similar mindset for the foreseeable future.