As a public accountant, this is the time of year you likely look forward to the least — busy season. Now that we’re at the midway point, you’re probably getting tired of the long hours, endless amount of work, and struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. While surviving busy season may be a concern right now, you may be inclined to seek less demanding opportunities in the future. Before you decide to leave public accounting and work you enjoy doing, however, be aware that there are a number of new initiatives these firms are implementing in order to retain top talent.
“Many accounting firms realize just how much they ask of their employees during busy season, and because of this, are looking for ways to be more accommodating to them during the less demanding times of the year,” says Irv Myones, a Senior Managing Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Accounting & Finance division. “With the demand for CPAs so high, this is a great way for these firms to show their gratitude toward their employees and attract new talent in the future.”
In order to do this, here are several options that are becoming more common in the workplace:
Telecommuting – Since technology makes it easier to access work from any location, accounting firms have started to allow employees to work from home as long as they can easily be reached by phone or email. “Firms know that spending time with family and managing what can be a difficult commute are top priorities for their employees,” says Irv. “As a result, many employers will let their employees work from home for one or two days per week during non-peak seasons.”
Summer hours – Summer hours differ between accounting firms, but many companies are adopting policies where employees are allowed to work half days on Fridays or four-day weeks. Since the workload tends to be lighter during these months, employers view summer hours as a show of appreciation for the work that’s done over the course of the year.
Casual work attire – At many firms, staff are allowed to come in jeans and other comfortable clothes in the office and for clients with similar dress codes.
If a company you want to work for doesn’t necessarily offer a particular perk you want right now, there could be room for it in the future once certain factors are taken into consideration. “Depending on the relationship you form with your employer, you may be able to reach a compromise that grants you greater flexibility,” says Irv. “For example, if you have a longer commute, your employer may give you a more flexible work-from-home schedule once you demonstrate your commitment to them.”
As you look for future career opportunities, you may want to consider how some of these flexible work policies would positively impact both your personal and professional life. If work-life balance is important to you, now is an excellent time to take advantage of these new benefits!