By Marc Basil | May 11, 2018

We often hear about work-life balance and how beneficial it is for workplace culture at the team level. However, can a healthy balance exist between work and life outside of the office at the CFO level? How about for the startup CFO?

The answer is yes.

While we may not hear as much about the importance of work-life balance for management, leadership and c-suite, I uncovered a great article on by David McCann published earlier this year that addresses just that.

Take a look at some of the key takeaways from the article in my 4 Ways CFOs Can Effectively Maintain a Work-Life Balance below.

1. Work a realistic number of hours.
The most highly-effective CFOs realize working the 80 to 90 hour work-week consistently is a not a healthy or viable long-term strategy. For any c-level executive, busy weeks are part of the landscape, but to pretend that this is a sustainable approach for the long haul is simply not realistic. Further, as a business culture and a society, we need to stop celebrating how “busy” we always are. There is a feeling that working non-stop is something of a “badge of honor” when in fact we should be spending more times with family and loved ones.

2. Leave at a reasonable time. 
CFOs need to realize how their behavior is viewed and perceived across the organization, especially by their staff. If a financial leader typically leaves the office at a reasonable time each night, their staff will often follow suit. If not, the opposite result becomes commonplace – as there is a feeling that “I cannot leave before the boss does.” The enlightened CFO who makes it a point to be home for dinner each night sets the tone for the entire organization reporting to her.

3. Take advantage of technology.
Again, while there is no avoiding the periodic busy weeks, long gone are the days where all of the work needs to be done in the office. In this day and age of smartphones, and other technology allowing for effective work being done remotely, staff no longer feel they need to be “seen” to be viewed as productive and contributing. Again, this almost universally hinges on the leadership style and philosophy of the CFO. If those busy weeks don’t always mean long hours IN the office and the work is getting done, everyone wins.

4. Understand what “work-life balance” means.
Balance does not always mean NOT working. The CFO as a leadership role should lead both in and out of the office in ways that mentor and inspire her team. For example, a CFO should remain active in professional groups –attending events and networking etc. – as well as perform philanthropic duties throughout the community. Leading by example will have profound effects on her staff and how she is viewed by them.

What are some other ways CFOs can maintain an effective work-life balance? Sound off in the comments below!

Have any questions for Marc? Email and mention this blog.

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