19 | 06 | 2018
Work-life Balance: Flexitime
Nearly all working professional would agree it can sometimes be hard to find a healthy work-life balance, especially in today's 24/7 ‘always on' culture world. Health and well-being is a massive topic within the workplace and finding a healthy work-life balance is hard, but when you love your job it's hard to just cut off from your responsibilities, lots of people would rather stay productive so business thrives than just dropping everything. "Leave work at work" – has to be the most repeated phrase that has ever existed within the professional industry, with always expressing the same preach “you need to start taking steps back from your normal daily routine to reduce your stress levels, and to help you think more clearly about tough decisions” can and is quite patronising. There isn't anything wrong with working hard and achieving what you have set out to achieve, but knowing your limit is important, and this is what others are trying to get across to the wider professional community. With the amount of negative stigma that has surfaced recently about employee health and well-being in the workplace, and recent studies showing the different benefits to improve your teams health, a whole variety of professions have been now implemented different ways to promote this within their workplace, focusing on a percentage of the working population shouldn't be justification employers need to have a vibrant, motivating working environment. Employers are now offering us as employees a healthier work-life balance, but are we using these benefits to our advantage? With most working professionals enjoying what they do and sharing their achievements outside of work already is emotionally uplifting and shows that they care about our jobs. So, with that in mind employers are finding it harder to think of benefits they can offer their employees. As working professionals there are lots of assumptions being made that we are more stressed than ever before, all because we have the occasional rant about; how our boss made us pull our hair out again and how Helen from HR broke the printer again, is called being human…we do get ourselves worked up, stressed and lost in a minefield of our own thoughts. It's just human nature. With more benefits being offered too us, there are tons of ways we all could tailor a work-life balance to fit our personal needs, and over the past few years, more companies are helping employees achieve this by offering different packages, schemes, incentives and targets. Flexitime: allows employees to work a set number of hours a week, which enables them to have a more flexible approach to working lives. Flexitime benefits Staff morale and job satisfaction increases Fatigue and stress levels are reduced Satisfaction and employee production increases Other opportunities and commitments can be fit in and around work More control over employee workload Allows banked time to be used for leisure and personal activities Childcare is more flexible with working hours Another benefit to flexitime is it gives employees the chance to avoid rush hour traffic. For employees with long commutes, any effort that means they avoid sitting in traffic is an added job perk in their eyes, meaning it will prevent them from looking for a position closer to home. Flextime allows employees to work around their lives and they can work accordingly without having to sacrifice their productivity by ‘clock watching,’ giving employees the benefit to completing personal objectives whilst working full-time allowing them to focus on their work.
14 | 06 | 2018
Inside Sewell Wallis - Hannah Bateman
Hannah Bateman covers the transactional and junior finance sector, working on roles across the Yorkshire region. Hannah is a high achiever that goes above and beyond, personalising each position she works on, building strong relationships with both client and candidate. Hannah’s interests include singing, baking and decorating cakes, going to the gym and spending time with family and friends. Quick Questions If we’re sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together? I think it’s an achievement for other people to think you’re capable of taking on more responsibility. So as long as I’m aiming for that, I’m happy. When have you been most satisfied in your life? When I’m eating cheesy chips… Who is your role model, and why? My mum and dad – are both working parents and they have worked really hard so that me and my sister could do the things we wanted to do. What things do you not like doing? Be it professionally or personally. Being bored. I hate not having anything to do, sometimes I like having nothing to do and it’s a nice break, but I want it on my terms. What is your most significant accomplishment in your career? I’m currently smashing this quarter, which is still ongoing!! Hopefully, I will make it a lot more!!! If you could do anything, just once. What would it be? Be invisible for the day. How would your team describe you? That’s quite a hard question to answer without trying to sound big headed, I’d probably say I’m a bit of a fruit loop…a motivator, kind, supportive and willing to go the extra mile to help anyone that needs it. How would you describe your favourite colour to someone who is blind? Orange: Warm, happy, soft and welcoming. If you could speak to your 5-year-old self, what would you say? DON’T chop all of your hair off in Year 8 to look like Frankie from the Saturdays, it will take 7 years to grow back! What makes you a great recruiter? My attention to detail, the time I invest in each candidate and the strong relationships I build with the clients I work with. Life can be tricky, who or what is your biggest motivation? My family and myself – being able to do the things I want to. Whether it’s a nice holiday or a day trip out, spending money on myself and friends and family for a nice present, feels much better to have earned those things for yourself. What’s next? Onwards and upwards! At Sewell Wallis, we strive to make our working environment as comfortable as possible for each member of our team, and getting to know each person individually is amazing! Keep tuned for your next exclusive inside look into Sewell Wallis.
08 | 06 | 2018
My Work Best Friend
Typically, when people speak about their best friends you never associate them with work or that they had met them through their profession. 1 in every 3 people meet their closest friends at work Having a work best friend has great benefits for both employees and the overall business: Employees feel they are more capable taking on tasks they would usually avoid Overall employee happiness is increased Companies with happier employees have been predicted to outperform their competition by 20% Employees that have a close/best friend at work are 7x more likely to engage fully Close work, friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50% 70% of employees say, having friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life "We don’t really have work best friends, but we can definitely say we are quite close as a team. By working with people, we are close to inside and outside the business is a lot more motivating and not as stressful – we’re always having a laugh, but we’re still getting our work done, working in a more professional and corporate working environment can be challenging at times and if you don’t have some kind of friendship with who you work with it can be harder. It doesn’t have to be professional and, in your face, corporate the whole time, but knowing when to be professional is a must when dealing with clients, candidates, senior members of the team and other external services. On the contrary, we do think a lot of people would enjoy working in their current job a lot more if they’re working with a team that creates a relaxed environment." – Popular Opinion A staggering 58% of men would refuse a higher paying job if it meant not getting along with co-workers and 74% of women said the same. A study has shown that employees who are happier at work are 20% more productive, and when it comes to sales teams promoting a happier environment can raise their overall sales by 37%. Employees that work with a best friend are 1.4x more likely to have received praise in the last seven days and are 1.3x more open to receiving feedback about their progress within their role over the last six months. With employees being more open to receiving feedback and having a more motivated outlook towards their work, they are benefiting more from personal development support given by their employers, with more employees saying they have extra opportunities to do their best every day and are feeling more appreciated by their managers. Office friendships have direct links with productivity and engagement, actively encouraging friendships in the workplace might seem you are making your team less productive because they will be chitchatting with each other but making these friendships a crucial aspect will keep your team’s motivation and productivity levels up. Too much talking can cause negative effects to any professional environment, making this undesired effect becoming detrimental to your teams’ productivity and leading to them wanting to socialise more than working. With the right balance and mixture of internal communications being more fun will improve your teams overall focus and concentration. A happy workforce is a productive workforce and here at Sewell Wallis, we strive to make our working environment as comfortable as possible for each member of our team, with regular team outings and celebrations for the great work we achieve as a team. If you’re looking for a new role within recruitment contact us today – firstname.lastname@example.org
07 | 06 | 2018
The Accountant - Technology strikes again
The financial sector has been hit with yet another technological challenge. Automation was introduced to the industry back in the early 21st century and wasn’t really seen as the “go-to” software by The Big 4 – EY, Deloitte, PWC, and KPMG. Automated technology started out as a BETA test within the industry to see if it could categories and sort complex COGSs more efficiently, but once automation evolved further it was predicted to start affecting companies hiring practices, (The Financial Times Reports) raising alarm bells throughout financial & accountancy services. According to research conducted by Frey & Osborne in The Economist’s Article back in 2014 - 47% of job categories were open to automation within the next two decades, with accountants and auditors being the second highest in terms of risk factor. Automation has now developed further but still hasn’t been significantly applied to the industry, currently being the second strategic priority after processing improvements. It has now been predicted that at least 56% of roles could be replaced. The ACCA recently argued against their own release on the subject “The Robots are Coming?” Stating that there will be a significant number of challenges when it comes to adopting robotics and automation into the financial services in general. The war is not over Accountants are now embracing the new AI technology, instead of trying to innovate themselves and working even harder, they are now using the automation software to improve the quality of their audit work; by carrying out tasks more efficiently and accurately, by doing this they are avoiding future high-profile mishaps. “Let us not forget that accountants’ roles have evolved over time; they are no longer just number crunchers. Businesses rely on their financial teams to provide strategic advice on top of compliance and cost-saving guidance.” – David Chin, Head of ACCA In the long run, automation would produce newly skilled jobs and increase adaptability, meaning the impact may not be as imminent or as severe as predicted. As long as accountants are willing to reinvent themselves by coming smarter and more open-minded to new technology presented to them in the future. Advancements in automated technology have now opened up new methods for businesses when processing data and generating insightful reports, leading to productivity improvements within many professions; reducing transactional and routine task such as data entry, bookkeeping, and compliance tasks. This has increased finance and accounting professionals overall timescales, allowing them to focus on more value-added services. At Sewell Wallis, we know that the advancements in new technology within the professional environment can be daunting, but we aim to work with our clients and candidates to ensure we all develop together. If you are looking to progress within your career or increase the diversity of skills within your team you can speak to one of our consultants about a new hire or any potential new job opportunities you are interested in, please email us.
05 | 06 | 2018
The Art of a great Relationship - Volume 1 Communicating
Small business owners and working professionals apply most of their resources into generating new business. The biggest challenge working professionals face when it comes to new business is; building strong relationships with their clients and knowing how to interact with them on a multi-level basis. Building a strong client relationship takes time and continuous work. Most working professionals think this means they need to attend meeting after meeting, and this is where they might be going wrong. Taking clients out of their normal working environment will generate a more relaxed atmosphere and will increase the flow of conversation. Remembering that each client is unique and has to be treated differently will help you create an easy balance between excessive indulging and disingenuous schmoozing to try to win new business. “When I speak to my clients I communicate with them on different levels and on a variety of platforms. My smaller clients I will contact once a quarter by; phone, email or an informal lunch and my larger clients who have multiple decision makers prefer a more formal approach; email, LinkedIn, direct calls and internal meetings.” – Matthew Kaye The first conversation in any relationship is crucial, be it professional or not. Leveraging your brand effectively will be one of your main priorities, knowing how to sell your brand rather than ‘bragging’ about it, will show your businesses’ ethos to be more honest and trustworthy. "I go out and meet my clients to get a detailed understanding of what they are looking for, I then keep in regular contact and do what I say I am going to do. Building trust is the most important part in any client relationship; I call when I need to, send CV’s which match their criteria and I’m honest with them if I’m struggling to find the candidate they desire.” – Gemma Watmough When it comes to speaking to clients, use language that reflects your company’s ethos, this will break down the barriers of a ‘normal sales call’ and will open up the opportunity to get to know clients on a more personal level. Emphasizing who you are and how you implement this into your work will increase the trust you gain when working with your prospect clientele. Knowing how to communicate with clients is a continuous learning process, with every client interaction being different to the last, some clients will prefer a formal approach whilst others will appreciate a more informal conversation. “Before I started developing my client relationships, I did keep my personal relationships separate, but now I have a few clients and candidates that I have worked with over the past few years, I now consider them as close advisers and friends.” – Tom Beale Nowadays it’s not about how many times you can call your clients in a week, with new developments in social communication, we now can speak with them on a professional basis by using a whole variety of channels. There is no such thing as ‘over communicating,’ if you’re sharing relevant knowledge and interesting news you will never have to worry about ‘spamming’ your clients again. One out of every three emails are opened 14% of calls are answered directly without being placed on hold first Business Executives spend an average of 15 minutes on hold a day 44% of workers would rather use their computers for business communication, with 36% citing smartphones as their communication tool of choice 95% of working professionals, plan to use digital communication rather than incur the costs of face-to-face meetings At Sewell Wallis we take Candidate and Client care very seriously and developing a healthy working relationship is key for our brand and consultant. Most of our candidates we work with eventually become clients and vice versa, so having a strong professional relationship is key.