Maintaining work / life balance for finance professionals

Work / Life Balance: The ongoing process of balancing one’s work or career and other aspects or needs of life (including family, leisure, and personal responsibilities) – an ongoing challenge of contemporary existence. Even before COVID-19 turned homes into temporary offices, a number of mega-trends made it harder to balance work / life.

One reason is technological advances, which have greatly improved communication but blurred the lines between personal time and work time. Another reason is demographic change, as countless couples of the “sandwich generation” struggle to take care of their aging parents on the one hand and their children on the other, a situation that puts even more strain on the growing number of single parents. .

Adverse work / life balance can cause burnout, stress and health problems; It can also have a profound effect on marital and family relationships. Since these issues can have a significant impact on employee productivity and output, many progressive organizations have made it a top priority to address work / life balance issues and have established policies and procedures aimed at encouraging employees to achieve this.

Proper work / life balance benefits everyone: employees, reducing stress levels and increasing downtime; Employers, by increasing productivity, reducing absences and attracting / retaining good employees; And families, who increase parental involvement and spend more time with each other.

  • The finance industry is notorious for being one of the most difficult sectors to achieve a work / life balance due to its long duration and highly competitive nature.
  • There are ways you can work to achieve a work / life balance, including working time, distant work, and being active with flexibility requests over time.
  • Job seekers should look for companies that promote work / life balance.
  • Developing a work / life balance culture is crucial to attracting and retaining good workers because a growing number of people may prefer the flexibility and low-stress nature of such environments over the rigidity and stress associated with more conventional workplaces.

Work / life balance in finance

The finance industry is notorious for being one of the most difficult sectors to achieve a work / life balance due to its long duration and highly competitive nature. For example, financial analysts regularly work more than 40 hours per week. Many (perhaps one-third) work between 50 and 70 hours per week, and those who are in investment banks may work between 70 and 85 or even 100 hours per week. Although financial analysts, like any other demanding profession, enjoy a higher probability of average compensation and growth, there is a cost in terms of high stress levels and limited time for themselves and their families.

Work / life balance is a global problem. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) maintains work / life balance data for 41 countries as part of its Better Life Index. The OECD ranks the United States 29th among these countries for balance of work / life. U.S. workers work an average of 1,767 hours per year, above the OECD average of 1,687 hours, while 10.4% of U.S. workers work “very long hours” (i.e., more than 50 hours per week). The United States also scores low on the work / life balance scale because it is the only OECD nation without a national paid parental leave policy, although certain states provide such payments. In contrast, Canada ranks 14th for work / life balance, with Canadians working an average of 1,644 hours a year and only 3.3% working more than 50 hours per week.

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Goldman Sachs first-year analysts estimated the number of hours worked in a February 2021 survey. A month later, Goldman announced that it would better enforce its “Saturday Rules”, which stipulates that junior staff should not be expected to be in office between 9pm on Friday and 9am on Sunday.

What employees can do

The results of a 2022 Pew Research study revealed how difficult it is for employees to work and work in the family life. 58% of working mothers and 43% of working fathers say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance these responsibilities. But there are ways in which one can work towards a work / life balance.

Prioritize work / life balance

Before signing up for another difficult assignment to work an 80-hour week, ask yourself if you really need to take it or if it would be best for you to spend some of that time with your family. While it may be easy for higher professionals in the corporate hierarchy to make such choices, an enlightened company will not penalize an employee for rejecting an assignment that involves a long time. Or at least the management will try to work with them to create a more reasonable timeline or get extra help.

Similarly, being proactive in asking your company for some flexibility with working hours for caring for a young child, for example, can make you a happier and more productive employee.

Look for companies that promote work / life balance

Most large and best companies promote work / life balance because retaining talented employees is an important part of their growth strategy. But it’s not just Fortune 500 companies that offer this balance. Many small companies do the same, so focus on this aspect when conducting your job search. Glassdoor.com, for example, publishes an annual list of their top companies for work / life balance based on employee feedback. In the United States, Veterans United home loans are among the top 20 financial institutions in the world by 2020.

Be a leader for change

Deloitte Dads is a support group for working fathers started by a few mentors at Accounting and Consulting Giant Deloitte LLP. The group is inspired by Career Moms, organized by another Deloitte consultant in 2007 to help working mothers. If your company still has no one to balance work / life, consider taking the lead.

What employers can do

While retaining the best employees is an enduring challenge for most companies, it has proven to be particularly challenging for financial firms in recent years. One consequence of the 2008 market downturn was that financial industry regulators came under increasing scrutiny, while compensation levels in capital market-related sectors also declined. As a result, Wall Street is no longer the default destination of choice for talented young people. Many have chosen to start their own fintech companies instead.

So what can employers do? Developing a work / life balance culture is crucial to attracting and retaining good workers because a growing number of people may prefer the flexibility and low-stress nature of such environments over the rigidity and stress associated with more conventional workplaces. There are many ways companies and employers can develop benefits to make work more enjoyable. These include telecommuting, flexible work schedules, compulsory leave and optional leave, access to childcare and workplace facilities such as gymnasiums and subsidized cafeterias.

While there are undoubted costs involved for a company that offers these benefits, the return on such investment – in terms of good productivity, low absenteeism, hiring talented employees, retaining them and developing greater commitment to corporate goals and objectives – will in most cases be more than justified. .

Wildbit, a small software company founded in 2000 in Philadelphia, experimented with a four-day work week in 2017 and made it permanent.

A company that promotes work / life balance

Flexible work time seems to be one of the most valuable benefits offered by employees. TD Bank Group (TD), one of the largest banks in Canada, has received numerous accolades and awards for its culture. It offers its employees a variety of flexible work options. These include the flexibility to change start and end times, reduce the number of working weeks, change the number of working days to the same number of hours, share work with other employees, and work from home for a certain number of days per week. .

Acuity Insurance, which topped Glassdoor.com’s list of the best companies for work / life balance in 2020, was cited for its flexible schedule and timing, on-site gym and “many extras”, but most, a Family Feelings: “Sharpness makes me successful in my job but also in my life,” one employee wrote. Won praise for Lendio’s excellent facilities, “free break room snacks,” “great work / life balance especially during COVID” – “and they do not micromanage.”

Bottom line

While maintaining a work / life balance is a challenge for most professionals in the financial industry, where long-term work is the norm, employers need to develop a work / life balance culture in order to attract and retain talented employees. Negative effects of an adverse work / life balance include laziness, stress, health problems, and breakdown of marital and family relationships. Conversely, the positive effects of a healthy work / life balance include higher productivity, lower absences, and reduced employee turnover, which in turn benefits all parties involved কর্ম employees, employers, and families.

What does work / life balance mean?

Work / Life Balance refers to the amount of time you spend doing your job, comparing the amount of time you spend with your family and the things you enjoy — the balance between professional career / providing activities and personal life. Some attribute the idea to Lillian Gilbrath, an industrial engineer / expert in skills, the family head in the book. Cheap by the dozen.

How many hours do financial analysts work?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, most financial analysts work full time and some work more than 40 hours per week. This is a bit of an understatement, some industry professionals would say. The word on the road is that most financial analysts work 50 to 70 hours per week and do not spend time studying for professional and licensing exams.

Do financial analysts make a lot of money?

The average annual wage for financial analysts in May 2021 was $ 81,410. The lowest 10% earned less than $ 48,740 and the highest 10% earned more than $ 163,640.

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