Are extended working hours killing your team's morale?

21 Nov 2018  |  
Tags: Outsourcing accounting accountants

Are you constantly asking your accounting staff to stay back or if they can just finish up this one last task? It happens and it’s OK, if this is a once in a while occurrence however, when it becomes a regular request you really need to understand the repercussions this can have on the overall morale of the team. 

Accounting work can be quite a time consuming, not to mention the attention to detail it requires. It can also get really stressful during busy times like tax season and end of the financial year. As a business owner, we are sure you do not get any pleasure from making your team work extra hours but many get into a situation where they’re understaffed or don’t have people with the right skills.

Extending working hours seems like the practical response when there’s just too much work but we need to ask ourselves if this tactic actually works. Are extended working hours actually doing what we believe it does — resulting in more and better output?

Problems related to extended working hours:

Staff turnover increases

This is pretty self-explanatory. A team member may really enjoy their job and like working for their manager but at the end of the day, they have to look out for themselves. And the easiest way out of a bad situation is to simply leave. 

Absenteeism increases

No matter how good the job or the money is, if you’re getting overworked you’re going to need a break. Many employees hesitate to ask for leave, especially during busy periods so instead they ‘call in sick’. Whatever the reason the conclusion is that they can’t and don’t want to be there.

Less productivity

A recent study of 65,000 U.S. employees has found that our productivity drops by 11 percent immediately after 8 hours of work, then keeps decreasing by as much as 19 percent for every hour we keep spending at our computers. In addition, when staff are overworked they get less sleep which results in more mistakes in their work.

Increased mental and health problems

One of the biggest problems of extended working hours is the amount of stress it creates. Whether you know it or not, staff take on this stress which leads to a plethora of health and mental problems. Below are just some of the most compelling statistics associated with being stressed when hours are extended:

  • Scientists at University College London, found that those who work more than 55 hours a week have a 33% increased risk of stroke compared with those who work a 35- to 40-hour week. They also have a 13% increased risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Overworked employees report more health problems, and as a direct consequence are less productive and use more sick days (University College London)
  • Those who work long hours tend to have unhealthy lifestyles, with less exercise, worse diets, and higher consumption of alcohol and tobacco. (Health Harvard)

Work/life imbalance

The number of hours in a day are limited and are divided into personal time and work time. When working hours become extended it not only impacts the morale of the team but it actually takes away their personal time. Maintaining a healthy work life balance keeps your team happy which results in more productivity and better team morale.

A solution to extended hours

No accounting practice owner wants to be the bad guy and ask his team to stay back. However, there are a number of ways to minimise extending working hours. One of the ways is by outsourcing accounting functions, especially those tedious time consuming tasks like payroll and bookkeeping.

To know more about outsourcing and how it can better team morale and stop you from extending working hours call us on 0870-803-1033 or email

About Vishal Kurani

My name is Vishal Kurani, the author of the QXAS blog and I appreciate you stopping by! I help accountants gain Accounts Outsourcing knowledge through my easy to follow blogs and guides. Download my free guide "The Accountants Guide to Making Payroll Profitable" to learn how to make payroll profitable for your accountancy practice.