Accountemps Survey: Many Workers More Stressed During the Holidays
MENLO PARK, CA, Dec. 1, 2011 -- Not everyone will have time to deck the office halls this holiday season, a new Accountemps survey suggests. Thirty-nine percent of workers interviewed said it is more challenging to manage their workloads during the holidays. The additional burden comes at a time when many professionals are already feeling the pinch: More than four in 10 respondents (41 percent) indicated their current workloads are too heavy.
The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on interviews with 459 workers 18 years of age or older and employed in an office environment. Accountemps also produced a video at www.accountemps.com/holiday that illustrates the burden many professionals feel as the year winds down.
Workers were asked, "In general, is it more or less challenging to manage your workload during the holiday season?" Their responses:
Much more challenging
Somewhat more challenging
Somewhat less challenging
Much less challenging
Workers also were asked, "Which of the following best describes your current professional workload?" Their responses:
Much too heavy
Somewhat too heavy
Somewhat too light
Much too light
"The holidays can be an especially busy time for many workers, who are trying to balance business priorities with personal demands," said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps and author of Motivating Employees For Dummies® (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.). "This time of year can be particularly challenging for accounting and finance professionals, who are managing year-end close, tax-season preparation, financial reporting requirements and other cyclical initiatives. Managers must ensure work is completed while also avoiding overtaxing internal staff, who may already be stretched thin."
Accountemps highlights five "gifts" employers can give their teams to help manage end-of-the-year workloads:
Support. Ensure staff have the resources needed to successfully complete their projects. Also consider bringing in skilled temporary staff who can assist with key initiatives and help maintain productivity.
Time. Your employees may not feel they have enough hours in the day to meet all of the priorities competing for their attention. Help staff by encouraging them to leave early on a Friday or take an occasional long lunch to attend to errands.
Flexibility. To help employees better balance work/life demands, offer flexible schedules or telecommuting options to staff whose jobs do not require them to be on-site.
Thanks. Express your appreciation to staff members for their work throughout the year.
Fun. Keep the mood around the office from becoming too serious. Close the year with a department celebration, such as a group lunch or gift exchange, to build camaraderie.
Accountemps has produced a new video depicting the stress workers face during the holiday season and how bringing in temporary staff can help employers relieve the pressure on their teams while ensuring business objectives are met. View the video at www.accountemps.com/holiday.