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Charity finance teams report long hours and wellbeing worries during pandemic

04 Nov 2020 News

Some charity finance staff have worked 60-hour weeks in response to the coronavirus crisis, according to a survey.

Finance directors told Civil Society Media's Charity Finance magazine that employees had been feeling the strain of long hours and stressful conditions over the last six months, as well as worrying about the impact on their colleagues.

The period has been "a colossal challenge" for charities, one finance director said.

Individuals responded to the survey on the condition of anonymity. The survey has been produced to coincide with Charity Finance Week, which takes place on 23-27 November.

Long days

The finance boss at one care charity said that the pandemic had been "very demanding and stressful" for their team.

They added: "Between the end of March and the end of June, our finance team and our senior leadership team have been working 60-hour weeks."

The finance director at one health charity described 2020 so far as "exhilarating and stressful".

Concern for wellbeing 

At an international aid charity, the finance director raised concerns that staff had had limited opportunities to look after their own health and wellbeing, because of the nature of the team's work.

They said: "While the rest of the world is talking about the importance of being kind to oneself during lockdown, people who work in finance have very little option to stop doing things, since so much of what we do has to be done in a certain way and by a certain date."

Remote relationships

Other respondents reported that personal interaction had become harder for finance teams who nearly all now work remotely from one another.

A finance professional at an arts charity said: "Keeping in touch with staff online and via video is not the same as calling into offices and engaging."

Another, who works at a health charity, said: "I have missed interaction with colleagues and the ability to bounce ideas off each other informally."

Full analysis of the survey is published in the new issue of Charity Finance magazine.

Charity Finance Week 2020 will take place online from 23 to 27 November. The theme of “turning crisis into opportunity” will explore the role of finance and IT leaders in guiding their charities through the pandemic and rebuilding for the future. Incorporating the Charity Finance Summit, the Charity Fraud Conference and the Charity Technology Conference, this is not an event to miss. Find out more here.


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