Despite the finance function already being highly competitive and stressful, 78% of Singaporean CFOs expect stress levels to go up over the next 3 years, found a new research by Robert Half.

In a press statement to Human Resources, the specialised recruitment firm revealed the main causes of growing stress levels – increased workloads (56%), increased business expectations (54%), shorter deadlines (40%) and a competitive marketplace (38%).

Thankfully, the overwhelming majority (94%) of Singaporean CFOs revealed that they are taking measures to reduce stress in the workspace. These include encouraging staff to give feedback to management and offering flexible working hours or remote work opportunities (55%), and redesigning the office space to facilitate better productivity and promote a more efficient working environment (51%).

In line with the research findings, Robert Half put together 8 ways to help employers reduce or prevent workplace stress.

    1. Motivate and reward employeesDon’t hold back on praise for a job well done. Feeling appreciated in the workplace can further motivate staff which in turn can reduce workload pressure.


    1. Listen to employeesMake sure there are open lines of communication for staff to discuss what is causing them stress, then deliberate on how to reduce workplace stress and implement action plans for improvement so that stressful situations can be managed better.


    1. Address issues while they’re fresh Workplace conflicts and stressful situations rarely go away on their own. Reach out to co-workers who may be demonstrating signs of stress and tension, and work through the issues together.


    1. Be proactive with planningMap out day-to-day operations and new initiatives to let employees anticipate challenges and organise their workflow more efficiently so potential stressful situations can be avoided.


    1. Assess training and technology needs Look for changes that could make internal processes more efficient, such as automating manual procedures or upgrading computers. Spending less time on manual processes and more time on value-adding projects can make the job more rewarding.


    1. Revisit your corporate cultureEmployees should feel respected and rewarded for their work. Consider if your corporate culture focuses on commitment to success and employee wellbeing, or if it promotes a culture of embedded pressure and stress.


    1. Take a breakConsider thanking your team with a few stress-reducing perks, like a professional neck massage at the desk.


  1. Demonstrate a commitment to work-life balanceCreate work-life balance opportunities by embracing a variety of options such as flexible work hours and remote work opportunities.

Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director of Robert Half Singapore said: “Singapore has a global reputation for business excellence, with finance professionals working in a highly competitive marketplace. Yet long working hours, higher workloads combined with shorter deadlines and increased business expectations can cause stress levels to rise among Singapore’s workforce. It’s vital for the citystate’s bosses to not only recognise growing stress levels within their workspaces, but to actively address it.”

“Stress is a drain not only on an employee’s wellbeing but also on the organisation. Employees who are burned out or chronically frustrated and stressed are more prone to illness and absenteeism, and generally show signs of decreased morale which all negatively impact business productivity – hence company success.”

This article was first published in Human Resources and is reproduced with permission. Original article can be found at