Pandemic heightens employees’ stress levels, new survey finds

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The pandemic has changed the way we all live and work.

Needless to say, it’s been tough to adjust to our new routines and irregular schedules, and to deal with not having access to the tools needed to maintain operations.

That’s why we checked in with senior finance executives at more than 500 U.S. businesses to see how they’re holding up and what could make their work life better.

We asked them how the pandemic has impacted their overall wellbeing and balance.

We asked them, too, about advanced technologies, like automation, and whether they have implemented them to reduce stress and increase efficiencies. And, if so, how are they working out?

Here’s what they told us:

Two-thirds (66 percent) of finance professionals, from middle managers to CFOs, have higher stress levels due to the impacts of the pandemic.

While many are working from home and therefore, avoiding lengthy commutes that once reduced their free time, their workdays are longer than they used to be.

Sixty percent have worked longer hours, lost sleep due to stress or have had sleep interrupted by work calls or emails.

Technology Helps Reduce Rising Stress

When the pandemic first hit, many organizations operated without continuity plans or relied on plans that didn’t account for the technology they would need to sustain their businesses.

But three out of four businesses have implemented at least one new technology or system to enable work, reduce pressures and provide agility as they navigate a rapidly changing work environment.

For those who haven’t yet amped up their tech stack, 78 percent agree new automation and technology would help further reduce rising stress levels. Eighty-four percent also believe emerging technologies would help them work more efficiently now and after the pandemic.

Uncovering a Critical Disconnect

Our research discovered that new tech solutions aren’t necessarily merging with the rest of the finance team’s tech stack. Only 35 percent of businesses leverage fully integrated systems to manage their financials.

More than 75 percent of finance teams are relying on at least two, and sometimes four or more different applications, to govern critical day-to-day processes. The juggle to manage these disparate systems can take a significant toll on their efficiency and productivity.

Teams are learning that ensuring connectivity between solutions is key to simplifying processes, reducing costs and maintaining free-flowing data for better visibility and smarter decision-making.

Looking Ahead

It’s understandable that stress levels are up this year. 2020 has been quite an unusual, challenging and, yes, worrisome experience.

One way to reduce these stress levels is to take advantage of automated accounts payable (AP) technologies.

By eliminating paperwork and shifting to automated AP, you’ll cut the time you need to spend chasing down invoices and getting them approved. The number of data entry errors will drop. Eliminating duplicate payments and paperwork will make your workdays smoother and less frenetic.

And you will pay your customers, suppliers and vendors faster. Better relationships with all of them will make you feel less stressed, better organized and free up your time to focus on more strategic tasks that help develop your skills and enhance your careers.

You May Also Like: From Crisis to Prosperity: Experts Predict Financial Industry’s Path Forward.

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