Whether you have years of experience or just switched careers, working for a financial company can be stressful—and even more so when working remotely. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance, staying on task, and creating a routine becomes extremely difficult without a clear separation between the office and home.
Here are some tips to help you find a good balance while keeping customers happy—featuring real-life examples from Nitronaut and Senior Accountant, York Ng.
1.Embrace digital workflows. The global work-from-home orders have forced many companies, including financial organizations, to adopt more digital workflows. For finance professionals that heavily relied on office printers and scanners, this was likely a challenge at first – especially when working with a ton of paperwork. According to Part 2 of The Future of Work Report, over 40% of financial services professionals deal with more than 10 documents a day, and 13% handle more than 20 a day.
But, going digital will save you time, headaches, and stress. It will also make working from home much easier. If your company isn’t already using a PDF productivity and eSigning tool, now’s the perfect time to make the move.
2. Stay ahead of your finances to avoid added stress. Finance professionals know first-hand how important it is to have a financial planning strategy, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. Looking at your own finances can be daunting, so it’s best to break it down into smaller tasks.
Create a financial to-do list and identify the most urgent action items (i.e., bills that can be paid immediately). Once you’ve crossed those off your list, you can then move on to more substantial debts. Put together a savings plan to pay off loans – this can be in the form of a spreadsheet or an app. You can also apply to receive your paychecks early to help with any other financial situations.
3. Create a schedule and stick to it. It might seem minor but creating a schedule that outlines both your work and personal tasks for the day can have a significant impact on your productivity and well-being. It’s easy for finance professionals to get buried in their work and forget to take mental breaks. In fact, Part 2 of The Future of Work Report found 30% of financial services professionals currently work 50 hours or more a week. Consider blocking off times on your calendar for non-work-related activities like walking the dog or eating lunch – doing this will help separate your work and personal life.
“The biggest lesson I learned so far is to take steps to manage your personal life without getting distracted from work. One way that I have been doing this is by scheduling time for grabbing a coffee, food breaks, and exercise activities in my calendar. Before this, my hours were all blending and as someone who loves to eat, I was surprised that I found myself forgetting to eat. When I get back to work after doing something like going for a walk, I feel more focused and energized.”
4.Practice self-care every day. This is important for knowledge workers in any industry. Working from home can feel repetitive and exhausting as you’re spending most of your time in one location. To avoid burn out, try breaking up your day with a few five-minute meditation sessions, a quick workout, or a lunch hour dedicated to reading your favorite book.
“I am translating what I did at the office to home. I start the day with caffeine whether it’s coffee or tea. At Nitro, we have a “#homework” Slack channel to make sure we keep moving throughout the day. Every hour you get a message to do an exercise challenge…anything from scissor kicks to squats. It always starts a conversation so not only are we moving but we get to have some of the usual office conversations that we all miss.”
The Importance of finding balance
Striking the perfect work-life balance can be tricky when working from home, but with a little time and dedication, it can be done! As the future of work shifts and working from home becomes a permanent norm for many financial companies, it’s important to know how to manage your time and responsibilities more effectively.