Finance Workers Load Keeps Getting Heavier

August 28, 2007 ( - Finance professionals have continued to work harder in the last two years, but how much harder depends on where they live, a new global survey found.

A Robert Half International news release said that its survey findings included that:

  • Forty-five percent of U.S. finance managers surveyed said their hours have increased over the last two years – an additional five to 15 hours a week.
  • U.S. respondents cited working an average of 40.9 hours per week, more than the 40 hours the French reported but below the 42.2 hours worked in Germany, 43.8 hours in Italy and 47.1 hours in Japan.  
  • Nearly four out of 10 (39%) of U.S. respondents said they sometimes or always take their laptops or PDAs with them on vacation,   as compared to 16% in Ireland, a country near the top of the list in hours worked.
  • Only 32% of U.S. practitioners said they never work weekends, versus 65% in Spain and 51% in New Zealand.   One-quarter of U.S. financial professionals say they work three or more weekends each month.

The news release said 37% of financial professionals polled around the world said they work between 39 and 45 hours per week, and more than half (52%) said they have been putting in more time over the last two years. The three most popular reasons for an increase in working hours are taking on more responsibility (56%), company growth (45%) and understaffing (27%).

“Finance and accounting managers have taken on new roles and responsibilities due to company expansion and the emphasis on corporate governance and compliance,” said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International, in the news release. “This clearly has resulted in heavier workloads — and, in many cases, the need to work longer hours.”

The study includes responses from more than 2,200 financial managers across four continents, representing 17 countries.