3E Accounting Setups Work-Life Balanced Workplaces to Address High-Stress Working Culture Which Will Spur Employee’s Productivity and Contribution
3E Accounting was honoured to be featured in ACCA Global January 2019 write-up on “By encouraging mental health awareness in the workplace, finance professionals are better placed to help their SME clients, who may be particularly vulnerable”. Read more in PDF
The fast-changing business environment and demanding corporate working culture have taken its toll in the mental health of the workforces, where accounting professions are more privy to high-stress working culture. The high-stress working culture will, in turn, lead to mental illness in the workplace. Though we acknowledge that mental health issues among employees can leave a serious impact on a business, mental health is still often least-talked-about workplace issue and many people tend to avoid such discussion, let alone championing mental health awareness and well-being of employees.
Importance of Workplace’s Mental Health
CEO of Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), Professor Andrew Conway, highlighted the importance of workplace’s mental health awareness in his keynote speech at the World Congress of Accountants in Sydney, Australia in November. His presentation, titled “The Changing Role of the Trusted Adviser – Influencing Small Business” was evidenced by facts derived from the 12-month research by the IPA-Deakin (University) SME Research Centre.
Despite the rising awareness of mental health as well as the cultivation of a balanced working environment, most Asian corporate employees still see long working hours as the badge of honour. According to a 2015 UBS study, Hong Kong had the longest working hours out of 71 cities researched – an average of 50.1 hours each week per employee. The study revealed a shocking number that 60% of employees suffered from high levels of stress while 49.5% of them did not have enough time to exercise. The 2017 survey by Robert Half uncovered that a whopping 56% of Singaporean CFOs stated mounting workloads as the main culprit of their stress, while 54% of them cited increased business expectations as the reason of job stress.
Cultivation of Work-life Balance in the Workplace
Back in Singapore, founder of 3E Accounting, Lawrence Chai had setup their accounting firm as the move to beat job stress due to prolonged working hours as auditors. He understood that when stress levels spike, employee’s productivity will plummet. It is because stress can alter employee’s concentration.
Lawrence is in the driver seats in terms of managing work stress when he started his company that emphasis work-life balance. He has incorporated the idea of work-life balance in their offices across Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, where employees enjoy a slew of wellness benefits, for example, flexible working hours. The cultivation of work-life balance in their workplace paid off when 3E Accounting’s staff are less stressed and more productive, which has, in turn, contributed to high staff retention.
While the right amount of stress will motivate employees to perform and deliver good results, the excessive amount of work stress will do the opposite. Therefore, the keyword here is “balance” – a healthy and balanced workplace will actually spur employee’s productivity and contribution.