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Financial services want work balance

Financial services professionals are motivated by more than just pay despite working the longest hours of any profession.

While 62% judge pay and benefits as ‘very important,’ around half also rate work-life balance and interesting or challenging work at a premium.

"A widespread conception is that many financial services professionals looking for a new job are driven solely by the attraction of a higher salary, a factor that has weighed heavily on how institutions have sought to recruit," said Matthew Crawford, Associate Director of Financial Services Recruitment at Robert Walters.

"However, other influences are at play, not least the motivation of being challenged and the fact that many financial services professionals attach a high value to a sensible work-life balance." 

In risk and compliance, the number giving good work-life balance a rating of ‘very important’ rises to 57%, though the figure drops to 38% within change management.

A widespread conception is that many financial services professionals looking for a new job are driven solely by the attraction of a higher salary however many financial services professionals attach a high value to a sensible work-life balance.

Working hours

At 47.7 hours, the survey confirms that the average working week in financial services is longer than in IT (43.4 hours), HR (44 hours), accountancy (44.4 hours), legal (45.6 hours) and sales (45.8 hours). Change management specialists put in the longest working weeks, clocking up an average of 48.4 hours.

Overall, nearly half of all financial services professionals find themselves working at least 50 hours a week, compared to a national average of 31%.

Yet the survey does show some variations - while 55% of projects professionals work 50 or more hours a week, the same can be said for only one in five in compliance and 42% in risk. 

Autonomy prized

Financial services professionals are also more autonomous than other professionals, requiring less direct management from bosses to succeed. Only 25% rate feedback and encouragement from managers as ‘very important’ to job satisfaction, compared to 40% in HR and 36% in marketing.

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