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Top 10 wellness tips for remote accountants 

19th Mar 2024
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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Gone are the days when accountants were shackled to a desk, crunching numbers tirelessly on their calculators until sunrise. Since 2020, the world has flipped on the switch for remote work. Sitting at home on the couch with your laptop and a cup of coffee has become the norm in a lot of companies.  

However, while most people have relished in the move from cubicle to couch, this semi-new way of working hasn’t come without its difficulties. Work-life balance has been under increased scrutiny, with office and home lives blending into one. What was once a very solid and defined separation boundary, has since become blurred. Accountants can often find themselves glued to the couch well after working hours. 

A study from Dext has found that 36% of accountants are considering leaving the profession in the next five years, with 24% of respondents aged 25-44 leaving due to a lack of a healthy work-life balance. On top of that, a third of accountants feel stressed every day. So, it seems that what were once very physical shackles (i.e. being tied to one place to work) have now been replaced with mental shackles. 

These are shackles that don’t let you sit back and truly relax, and can affect your mood on a day-to-day basis, how you spend time with loved ones, and your approach to being truly ‘Out of Office’ to enjoy your well-earned holidays. In fact, almost 70% of workers actually work during their holidays, which goes to show just how strong these mental shackles we have on ourselves are. So, how can you loosen these shackles and let go? Here are 10 top wellness tips for accountants who are struggling with work-life balance. 

1. Combat feelings of loneliness 

It's no secret that your surroundings can influence your attitude, and the same can be said for your working environment. The comradery that comes from being in the office can bring a more light-hearted approach to certain tasks. It’s also incredibly convenient to vent and work through difficult situations you could find yourself in with clients with your colleagues. However, when you’re working from home, these could now be replaced by pangs of isolation. 

To combat this, schedule daily meet ups with colleagues for more social catch ups that don't involve work. A remote team doesn't mean a less connected one, so lean on video calls to maintain those friendships that make your professional life that bit more rewarding. 

2. Craft the perfect morning routine 

A morning routine is the foundation of your day. When you’re going to the office, you likely get spruced up, spend an hour or two in traffic or public transport, and go to the local café for your daily cuppa. These can all set the stage for a productive workday, so try to incorporate some of the elements that bring you joy and invigorate you. 

You could add some new bits and pieces to your morning routine too – whether it's a workout, reading a book, or having your ritualistic cup of coffee, all these small additions can bolster the foundation for a fulfilling workday. 

3. Set up your space 

A smooth workflow begins with an environment that advocates for it. Create a designated workspace within your home – it doesn't have to be a whole room; it could even be a nook or a desk. Whatever space you end up using, ensure it's an area that you can actually associate with work (i.e. away from any distractions). 

You could also add in some extra tools to tweak your space, like noise-cancelling headphones for more noisier homes, a monitor for a dual-screen view, or some simple natural light to reduce any headaches from fluorescents. 

4. Practice proper ergonomics 

Did you know that 40% of people who work from home aren’t even working from a dedicated desk? This means that close to half of those who work from home are working from the likes of couches, beds and other spaces that aren’t designed for work. And while this may seem like a convenient and easy option, it can come at a cost down the road. 

Ergonomics aims to improve workspaces by designing them in a way that reduces the risk of injury and increase productivity. According to a survey from the American Chiropractic Association, 92% of chiropractors in the survey said that since the move towards working from home started, patients have reported more neck pain, back pain, and other musculoskeletal issues. So make sure that your screens are at eye-level, your arm rests, mouse and keyboard are adjusted correctly, or (if you’re feeling extra motivated) invest in a sit-stand desk. These can prevent strain in those risk-prone areas and can build a more long-term foundation for wellness when working from home. 

5. Keep your eye on the prize 

Deter from distractions. A simple mindless scroll on TikTok may seem like nothing, until you blink and realise 20 minutes have gone down the drain. There a bunch of tips and tricks out there to help with productivity, including: 

  • Productivity apps like Forest can help cut down the amount of times you pick up your phone. 
  • Prioritising tasks at different times of the day. If you’re a night owl, save the more labour-intensive tasks for the afternoon. Likewise, if you’re a morning bird, pop them into your to-do first thing. 
  • Stay motivated. Make an upbeat playlist on Spotify to stay alert throughout the day, stay hydrated and eat regularly. While these may sound obvious, it’s surprising how many people don’t do them! 

6. Eat the right fuel 

Ever heard of the ‘afternoon slump’? Yeah, not a sustainable habit to fall into. Coming off our last point, nourish your body at regular intervals to continue working at a sustainable pace. Prepare meals and snacks in advance to avoid added stress on your body during the day. Also, don’t have crisps and a sandwich over your keyboard. Step away from the desk for mealtimes for that much-needed physical recharge, as well as mental clarity. 

7. Take regular breaks 

And speaking of breaks, the human body wasn't built to be sedentary. Incorporate regular movement breaks. Even if it’s just a quick 10-minute walk around the block, a spot of yoga before you rush out the door, or even a quick dance break between meetings can rejuvenate both your body and your mind. You could even go the extra mile (pun intended) and get a fitness tracker that reminds you to keep moving throughout the day. 

8. Setting boundaries 

The goal is not to simply have time off but to have quality time off. Set clear boundaries for when work starts and ends and communicate these to household members. Set strong communication boundaries with clients and stand your ground when it comes to enforcing additional fees. 

One of the most important words you should have in your daily vocabulary is 'no'. And while saying ‘yes’ can open doors, saying 'no' to some things can protect your routine, your energy, and ultimately, your mental health. Nobody should be up in the middle of the night drafting emails about payslips or VAT returns to demanding clients. While setting boundaries might feel a bit uncomfortable at first, prevents team burnout, and builds respect with all parties involved. 

9. Prioritise hobbies outside of work 

Prioritise spending time on things that recharge you outside of work. Research shows that when people engage in leisurely activities outside of work, it promotes wellbeing, improves job satisfaction, and reduces burnout and anxiety. Whether it’s painting, playing golf, watching a new series on Netflix, or swimming at the beach, remember, your wellness is an investment for your future. While remote work may present an array of challenges, it also ushers in fresh opportunities to change your mindset and routine.  

10. Use cloud tools for effective collaboration 

Lastly, cloud technology lets you bring the spirit of the office into your home. Cloud systems usually offer an array of features that are tailored for remote-based firms. These can be things like multi-user functionality with real-time changes, automatic data backups that happen in the background, and so much more. 

Whether it’s a payroll software, practice management software or tax software you’re looking for, we have a full list of solutions here at Bright that can align with your firm’s approach to work. To find out more information about our cloud suite, click the link below. 

Book a demo

 

eleanor vaughey       

 

Written by Eleanor Vaughey | Bright 

 

 

 

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