Finance teams dream of flexible lifestyle but bosses fail to deliver

Nearly a quarter of finance employees believe that flexible working schemes are the most important element in their remuneration package, new research has found.

Yet a survey of almost 2,000 members of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), conducted by recruitment specialist Robert Half Finance and Accounting, found that only 37% of respondents were given the option by their employer.

The survey also found that finance professionals worked long hours, with more than half the respondents saying they worked between 41 and 50 hours per week, and 30% between 35 and 40 hours, while a meagre 4% work less than 35 hours.

Nearly three in 10 respondents said they now spend more time in the office than they did two years ago, with nearly a third blaming staff shortages and 23% citing company culture as the reasons, according to the survey.

Phil Sheridan, UK managing director at Robert Half Finance & Accounting, said: “Working too many hours ultimately undermines a team’s productivity and can lead to higher turnover among staff. As a result, businesses risk losing good people. Today’s finance professionals are looking for flexible working arrangements and may look for career opportunities elsewhere to achieve a better work-life balance.”

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