With summer just around the corner, many professionals will face the increased challenge of juggling meetings and projects at work with family time and vacation plans. This can lead to rising stress levels. In fact, in a new Accountemps survey, 41 percent of CFOs cited trying to balance work and personal demands as the greatest source of workplace stress for finance professionals.
“Work/life balance may seem like an issue for individuals, but it also should be a concern for businesses,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies® 2nd edition (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). “Whether it’s through flexible work schedules, telecommuting arrangements or other options, organizations that commit to these efforts enhance morale and productivity and make their businesses more appealing places to work.”
Messmer added that workers need to do their part, too. Accountemps highlights some things that employee assistance professions should share with employees:
Understand the employer’s priorities: Knowing which initiatives are most critical to the firm’s success will help prioritize responsibilities. Proper workload management will increase productivity and make it easier to accommodate personal demands as they arise.
Know what the company offers: Familiarize yourself with alternate work arrangements or other benefits your employer may provide. For example, can you telecommute or adopt a more flexible schedule? When approaching a manager about adding these offerings, present a business case that also details how the firm will benefit from giving employees more flexibility in when and how work gets done.
Learn to say NO: Realize that no one can accomplish everything. If you can’t take on a new project, let your manager know. Explain the situation, and, if needed, offer to shift some of your responsibilities to accommodate the new request. Your boss would rather know up front than see a project fall through the cracks.
Know how to unplug: As much as possible, set aside times when you can cut the tether with the office. Try to avoid checking work email and list an alternate contact in your out-of-office message.