78% of CFOs predict stress levels will rise in finance by 2020

New research finds that only a third of finance departments regularly discuss health and welbeing.

  • Only a third of finance departments regularly discuss health & wellbeing
  • Businesses urged to implement meaningful wellness programmes as finance faces peak demand

London, 7 February 2018 – Finance workers in the UK are among the most stressed in the world, according to a study by Robert Half UK. Research found that 78% of Chief Financial Officers in the UK see stress levels rising in the next two years, with over a third (31%) saying it would grow significantly. CFOs believe that increased workloads (51%), growing business expectations (49%) and a lack of staff (40%) will send stress levels soaring.

In contrast, just 16% of UK respondents expect to see no change to workplace stress levels over the
next couple of years.

Region

Stress levels will increase by 2020 (%)

Stress levels will not increase by 2020 (%)

UAE

83%

11%

Switzerland

81%

19%

Germany

79%

18%

Chile

78%

17%

Singapore

78%

19%

UK

78%

16%

Brazil

77%

16%

Australia

76%

18%

New Zealand

75%

18%

Hong Kong

75%

25%

Belgium

73%

26%

France

71%

22%

The Netherlands

67%

24%

 **Responses do not total 100% as only a selection of responses shown.

“In the run up to financial year-end, organisations need to remember that tired, stressed and unhappy employees make for an unproductive and less efficient workforce. Being on the front foot by hiring temporary support, such as additional credit controllers, purchase ledger clerks, and financial/management accountants can a positive effect on the stress-levels of your existing employees,” commented Matt Weston, Director at Robert Half UK.

Finance is renowned for being a particularly stressful job. However, the research highlights a widespread failure to implement effective measures to combat stress in the workplace. Only a third (34%) of finance departments regularly discuss health and wellness – while less than one in 10 (7%) never talk about it all. The remaining 59% discuss it occasionally.

While many businesses have policies and programmes for reducing workplace stress, these are by no means universal. According to the research, just over half (53%) allow flexible working. Other steps taken includes redesigning office space to facilitate efficient working (47%), implementing an employee wellness scheme (44%), or providing regular opportunities for employees to give feedback to management (39%).

“Businesses need to go above and beyond to meet high employee expectations around health and wellbeing, and finance is no exception,” concluded Weston. This means rethinking working practices, establishing a dialogue with employees around their needs and planning ahead to bring in interim workers to help finance cope with busy periods and remove some of the pressure.”

-ENDS-

Research methodology
The annual study was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm.  The study is based on more than 200 interviews with senior finance executives from companies across the UK and more than 1,800 respondents globally with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.

About Robert Half

Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialised recruitment consultancy and member of the S&P 500 and #1 in our industry on FORTUNE® magazine’s “World's Most Admired Companies” list (2017). Founded in 1948, the company has over 300 offices worldwide providing temporary, interim and permanent recruitment solutions for accounting and finance, financial services, technology, and administrative professionals. Robert Half offers workplace and job seeker resources at roberthalf.co.uk and twitter.com/roberthalfuk.