Survey results revealed: Work-life balance

July 14th 2014 | Posted by phil scott

Survey results: Longer hours, more flexibility and greater rewards for FDs

The finance director is one of the highest paid positions within a company, but one that averages 50-hour work weeks and regularly leaves holiday entitlement left unused, an industry-wide survey has revealed.

Working weeks of 35 to 40 hours are now a rare thing for full-time finance directors, according to the findings of the FD Recruit Work-Life Balance Survey.

The survey also found that several days of unused holiday entitlement (an average of six days remain unused) is usually left and lost at the end of a year.
And when they are on annual leave, FDs are rarely far from work with respondents saying they are almost always contactable by phone (81%) and take a work laptop (64%) when away from the office.

The flexibility of work also allowed them to work in the comfort of their home offices and to a schedule they choose, which is almost universally preferred to strict, in-office hours.

Chief financial officers and those with a global remit averaged working weeks approaching 61 hours. However, Finance Director roles with international responsibilities are often well compensated, earning an average of 20% above those with just a domestic coverage, and respondents also noted that out-of-hours work was undertaken by choice, allowing them to work across time zones and to respond quickly even when away from the office.

At the other end of the scale was the not-for-profit sector, averaging a not insignificant 41-hour work week average.

Phil Scott, director of FD Recruit, said: “To some, these survey results may not be a surprise, but seeing the figures in black and white does highlight what an unusual work-life balance many finance directors have.

“As long as finance directors take enough time away from work to recharge their batteries, flexible working and long hours can suit many driven individuals. Working late into the night on an international project may not be for everybody, but a well-organised finance director can mould this around their personal and family commitments.

“Finance directors are also very well compensated, and the holiday entitlement left unused is likely to be a reflection of how much extra time they are offered as part of their attractive remuneration packages.”