Are you and your team drowning in work? In this blog post, fiduciary managers get tips on how to reduce the stress factor of the busy season while keeping the quality of work high.
1. Warn family and friends
Let family and friends know (preferably at the beginning of the busy season) that you will have less time and energy for joint activities due to the heavy workload in the coming weeks. Also, announce right away that private phone calls may have to wait and it may take longer for you to respond to messages. However, emphasise that the other person is close to your heart and that you would very much like to do something again after the busy season. It is best to give a time frame right away when you will be available again.
2. Set phone rules for yourself
No distractions with only a few relevant messages, not checking emails on the smartphone every ten minutes at home and avoiding the trap of constant accessibility: In order to keep a clear head during the busy season and to be able to work as efficiently as possible, you should set up telephone rules for yourself. This can look like this, for example: I check my email inbox every hour on the hour and then reserve 10 to 15 minutes to deal with emails. I prioritise and make myself aware that I do not have to answer all messages within the next few hours. Outside normal office hours, I am allowed to work on emails and Slack messages a maximum of three times for 20 minutes each. I have a competent team and am allowed to delegate requests. I inform myself about the events of the day at specific times that I determine myself. With suitable telephone rules, you reduce the risk of overworking yourself or getting bogged down.
3. Communicate your availability clearly
When are you as a leader available for your team? When would you like to work undisturbed? Under what circumstances is it justified to call you outside working hours? How should your employees contact you in case of an emergency? Especially during the busy season, your team must know when and through which channel they can reach you with questions or problems.
Reading Tip: Digital collaboration tools simplify teamwork and communication. In this blog post, you will find an overview of the most popular software solutions for work organisations and you can read how to find the right tool for your fiduciary.
4. Keep time free to recharge your batteries
During the busy season, overtime and night shifts are not uncommon for many fiduciaries. However, a high workload over a long period of time can be detrimental to health. According to occupational psychologists, the first signs of excessive stress are persistent headaches, fatigue and exhaustion, irritability, mood swings, concentration problems, nervousness and increased susceptibility to infections. To prevent this, you should also take time during the busy season to recharge your batteries. Whether meditating, exercising, cooking a healthy meal or taking a short walk: You know best what is good for you and how you can recharge your batteries. In the office, proper ventilation can prevent headaches, discomfort and the spread of germs. In winter, open all windows at least twice a day for about five minutes so that there is a complete exchange of air.
5. Engage your customers
Missing documents or information and clients who cannot be reached on a regular basis make the daily work of fiduciaries more difficult. Here, too, clear communication is essential. Summarise in a list for your clients what you need for the annual accounts, tax optimisation and analyses. In particular, clients who are known for their long response times and poor availability should be asked for outstanding documents early in the busy season. Do not be afraid to follow up several times. Communicate clearly that you can only meet deadlines if you receive all the necessary information and documents in good time.
6. Make your working day as efficient as possible
In addition to telephone rules and clear communication, easy-to-implement tips help to save time in everyday work. For example, in hectic times, many companies order snacks, lunches, afternoon snacks or, in the case of overtime, evening meals for the staff so that no one has to go shopping or cook in advance. There are also more and more start-ups dedicated to workplace optimisation and taking tasks off companies’ hands. Oxygen at Work, for example, takes care of office plants while guaranteeing good air quality in the office. Chatbots help answer generic queries about your website. The more non-business-related activities you outsource, the more you and your team can focus on the core business.
Intelligent fiduciary software allows you to better manage work during the busy season and reduce it in the medium term. Outsourcing routine activities such as document extraction, reconciling sub-ledger entries or creating reports on your clients’ key figures significantly reduces the workload on fiduciary companies. Experience a free live demo, and see how the Swiss fiduciary software Accounto relieves you of repetitive tasks so that your next busy season is less hectic.
7. Be prepared for a possible low after the Busy Season
After work-intensive phases, you may feel a certain emptiness once the pressure is off. Prevent this by visualising now what you will have more time and energy for after the busy season. Are you looking forward to doing more sports again, enjoying the cosy get-together with friends and family, reading or having game nights? In the not-too-distant future, this will be possible again. In the meantime, the above tips should help you get through the current Busy Season better.