{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Has anyone had any success making it clear you are NOT always on call outside of busy season. Kinda sick of it being assumed I can hop on calls after 5pm out of busy season. Where does work life balance begin?", "post_id": "62688287a350ce0027d35287", "reply_count": 94, "vote_count": 22, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Has anyone had any success making it clear you are NOT always on call outside of busy season. Kinda sick of it being assumed I can hop on calls after 5pm out of busy season. Where does work life balance begin?

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Are you staff? If so this is the time to prove yourself and make yourself available. Flexibility/greater work life balance comes once you have shown you are reliable and a hard worker. Also, if the people above you are on late and it’s not busy season, it’s likely because they need to be due to short staffing/or special projects that have come up. Very few of us are working 9-5 right now because of the above. If they need to be on, you should be on to assist. I’m not saying you can’t say no to a meeting if you have something planned and communicated ahead of time, but everyone is working crazy hours right now. Signing off at 5 and leaving your team hanging if they are all on is not being a good teammate.

funnylikeuplifting

K1 - totally agree, and I think that is true for most of public accounting. That is why they should have been reducing the workload. It takes years to make people productive. External hires included to get up on methodology, technology, etc. Our BU was told that they were cutting clients that didn't align with our strategic goals or were not as profitable (generally the smaller audits). But we didn't actually see that happen. And more importantly we saw the firm take on new work that we didn't have the capacity for.

So not sure the logic of more clients and fewer people. But here we are anyway. And while this profession has always been toxic, this seems to be a new level of awful.

Setti g boundaries and adhering to them is where to start. 5/530 is early by traditional standards - especially when our firm announces business hours are 8-6pm… but things are no longer traditional. If you log off and get a request, decline it if it will impede on your physical or mental health. From experience everything is a balance. I log off early a lot during the spring but am usually following up on things later on in the evening. I rarely say no to things that helped me learn, grow, or a new client opportunity. During the first several years in B4 this was all harder to do as I needed to develop my brand. Worked okay for me. Good luck

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Work life balance begins when you leave public accounting.

likefunny

Got to find the right one folks.

likefunny

Work life balance begins when you stop answering emails after 5:30 and start leaving the office on time.

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OP is in public accounting. They wouldn’t know anything about actually leaving on time. I’m out at 4:30 ✌🏼

5pm? 530? Do you start working early? I’ve never heard of anyone logging off that early in my entire career (even precovid). Other than on fridays… literally called it “5 o’clock fridays” as a treat.

likefunny

PwC do you just love working or what? There’s life out there bro. You’re missing it…

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You need to speak up for yourself and ask if the call is urgent or if it can wait until tomorrow.

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You gotta set these boundaries, amigo, because others won't set them for you

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I left EY bc I got a call or email with expectations to reply after 8pm every single night. Managers would be like “I need this done by 7:30am for my review. I won’t be available from 6pm-7am for questions though”

likefunny

I can only explain this so many ways - the younger, more jr people have a higher hour requirement. It takes a lot longer to prepare than to review. And those people who you are now saying don’t work hard likely worked their tail off to get where they are. I guarantee they they put additional hours and time that you don’t see. It’s the way the operation works. I’m a sr mgr and I pull way more hours than I should because people think they can just bail in the name of flexibility and WLB. What does that do to the rest of your team? Likely screws them over and their chance at wlb. This job is a pendulum- the goal is to balance that pendulum between life and work. Some times life will be higher than work - other times work ahead of life. But the goal is for an ultimate balance over time.

Yes. I get off at 5:30pm every day.

likefunny

At 5:30pm

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Block your calendar in the evenings so people can’t schedule calls

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Eh this doesn’t work. I put staff optional. To me - it just depends. I can usually log off around 630. That’s a pretty good day. 9-930 to 630

I’m a Senior Manager at EY and I’ve been there my entire career since I was a Staff right out of school. Except for busy season I’ve always been offline at 5:00 or 5:30. Just make it a nonnegotiable.

likesmart

It also depends on clients/group

Decline the invite

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Tell me what it is and maybe I’ll try.

I'm at a regional firm (top 100) and am considered a very high performer in the tax group. Outside of busy season I'm not sure I've ever had a client or partner schedule a meeting to start later than 4-4:30. Most people are typically offline each day by 4:30-5:30 during non busy season depending on when their day starts.

Personally I rarely address email outside of busy season after 5, and definitely don't expect my staff to respond when I do.

So stop supporting a culture with no regard for work life balance if that isn't the career you want to have - either set strong boundaries or go somewhere that it is the norm. All public accounting jobs will inevitably have a worse balance than a lot of other finance jobs, but also does have some very good opportunities, and there are definitely firms that let you have a taste of both worlds.

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Big4 versus top 10 versus top 25 versus top 100 are all VERY different. The larger the firm, the more demanding the clients typically are. I previously worked at Big4 and it's like it's own bureaucracy...as an individual, you have absolutely no role in defining how the culture will form. The smaller the firm, the more you, as an individual, can shape a firm's culture.

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Block your calendar during that time. They will learn to schedule earlier in day. If its an urgent need, you have the opportunity to make an exception.

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I block my calendars from 530-9pm during non busy season. I’ll get a ping if it’s urgent which rarely ever happens. At 530 I’m enjoying time with family

likeuplifting

I have tried but it normally doesn’t work until you stop answering your phone and/or responding to emails Afro 5:00. You teach people how to treat you. If you say I don’t work after 5:00 and they call/you answer, you already last the battle.

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Make your mark with your work product and output, not your availability and log off time. Make people want to work with you on your terms because you bring that much to the table. I often log off at 2 or 3, or take a long lunch, or do stuff with my kids mid-day. Sometimes I also log on in the evening. Crowe’s flexibility is great for WLB. I’m valued for my work, not when I work.

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It really depends on your group. I’ve not had a busy season for the last year bc I’m just year round busy.

With the mix of partnership clients, fiscal year clients, short year, and my regular calendar year clients - there was really no time outside of work since we were working around the clock. Was not healthy and part of the reason why I left.

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My partner often added me to calls at 2-3 am without hesitation. Even after the busy season.

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LOL I would flat out decline.

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How often do they need you after 5? I’d suck it up unless it’s every day

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