According to a new survey by leading finance and accounting recruiter Robert Half, 79 percent of New Zealand finance and accounting professionals rank work-life balance as a number one priority in the workplace. Of those, 86 percent of women rank work-life #1, versus 72 percent of men.
Based on a survey of 426 finance, accounting and banking professionals and hiring managers across New Zealand, the Robert Half Financial Employment Report provides invaluable insights into the hiring intentions, staff retention rates and business confidence of organizations for the second half of 2011.
Two thirds of those surveyed (77 percent) valued “working in an enjoyable environment,” while slightly fewer (69 percent) ranked having a manager they can respect and learn from in the top three benefits most valued to them in the workplace.
Other important benefits were working for a stable company (58 percent) and job security (47 percent).
Only 28 percent of respondents cared about working for a socially responsible company (you don’t say!) while a mere 38 percent valued a short commuting distance and just 40 percent valued access to technology as important in the workplace.
Interestingly, 84% of hiring managers said that they find it challenging to find skilled finance, accounting and banking professionals. The functional area in which they are experiencing the most difficulty in finding skilled staff is accounting which has increased by 22% year on year. To help attract and retain staff, hiring managers indicated they are offering or planning to offer perks such as flexible hours/telecommuting (46%), subsidized training (52%) and additional bonus/loyalty leave (41%).
Now, back to that elusive “work-life” balance. Nearly two thirds (62%) of New Zealand professionals stay connected to work or do work-related tasks when they are on holiday. Nearly two thirds (61%) of New Zealand hiring managers expect their employees to be available to some degree while on annual leave or out of office hours. About half are only expected to be available in the case of an emergency (49%). Of the employers that expect their staff to be available when they are out of the office, over three quarters (79%) expect their senior managers to be ‘on call’, while 60% expect this of their middle management team.
Read the rest of The Robert Half Financial Employment Report here if you’re into surveys.