Almost half of accounting professionals have desk lunches

Two accountants discussing desk lunches

If you’re an accounting professional struggling to take a full hour for lunch, or take a lunch break at all, then you're not alone.

The Robert Walters Career Lifestyle Survey has revealed that 45% of accounting and finance professionals do not leave their desks at lunch, with 48% taking less than half of the provided hour for lunch per day.

With demand on finance professionals increasing, many specialists in this area are struggling to adapt to the growing pressure on their time, with work-life balance at risk of being sacrificed.

This is potentially a cause of concern for employers as accounting professionals increasingly rank work-life balance as a top priority in their career. Employers should consider how they can prevent a culture of routinely working outside contracted hours from developing.

Delivering efficiencies

The scope of many accounting roles has seen significant growth in the past few years, and employers are increasingly looking for accountants to take an active role in helping to drive and shape company strategy.

Marcus Blackburn, Associate Director for accounting and finance recruitment at Robert Walters commented that: “this has created the knock-on effect of putting many finance professionals under growing pressure. Employees now forgo their lunch break in order to meet deadlines and deliver projects on time.”

“Managers need to be aware of the detrimental impact that this can have on the morale and productivity of staff, potentially leading to burnout when finance professionals feel under pressure not to take much needed breaks to relax and recharge during the day,” Marcus added.

Work-life balance

The study also revealed that over half of accounting professionals would consider leaving a job due to long working long hours affecting their work-life balance.

“Work-life balance is a growing priority for finance professionals and employers should consider this when developing a strategy for retaining high calibre staff long-term.” 

“Work-life balance is a growing priority for finance professionals and employers should consider this when developing a strategy for retaining high calibre staff long-term,” Marcus continued.

“While career progression and relationships with managers and colleagues can potentially have a bigger impact, managers should not neglect the effect that a culture of long working hours can have on retaining talented staff.”

As the scope of accounting and finance roles increases, employers must ensure that they are conscious not to allow work-life balance to suffer. Doing so will help them to attract and retain the best professionals by developing a reputation for being an employer who values work-life balance.

To read more of our career advice articles, click here.

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