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3 Ways to Alleviate Digital Fatigue and Boost Productivity During Busy Season

December 18 2020 • 2 min read

3 Ways to Alleviate Digital Fatigue and Boost Productivity During Busy Season

The average auditor will work 50 to 70 hours per week during busy season. Considering there are 168 hours in a week, and we spend about 56 of those sleeping, auditors will spend somewhere between 44 to 78 percent of their waking hours working between January and April. However, working excessive hours doesn’t necessarily add up to excessive productivity.

According to a study from Stanford University, Professor John Pencavel found that productivity per hour rapidly declines when a person works more than 50 hours in a week. After 55 hours, productivity diminishes to the point where putting in additional hours is pointless. Furthermore, the study revealed that people working up to 70 hours a week were getting the same amount of work done as those putting in 55 hours. And this was before COVID-19 catapulted the world into the deep end of the digital workplace. Adding to the diminishing return of productivity caused by long hours, research has shown that too much screen time can affect employees’ mental health. Clinical psychologist Dr. Nicole Beurkens reports that prolonged screen time reduces productivity, which in turn causes stress. To fight back against digital fatigue and diminishing productivity during the upcoming busy season, auditors and the firms they work with can take the following steps.

Tap into on-demand talent during the busy season

One of the most effective ways to alleviate fatigue during busy season is to bulk up your workforce with on-demand talent. By bringing on additional audit talent, you can distribute the workload and optimize each contributor’s productivity. At Makosi, we provide agile teams of on-demand Audit Seniors that can get up to speed within hours—so you can hit the ground running before busy season burns you or your team out.

Make time for your team to connect

Communication is an important factor in maintaining productivity, accuracy, and morale during busy season. Find out how your colleagues, supervisors, and direct reports like to communicate—and make yourself available through those channels. Focusing on clear communication relieves the stress of missed messages and allows you to connect in other meaningful ways, such as virtual happy hours and in-depth one-on-ones.

Fight digital fatigue with off-screen time

Allow your team time to recharge away from their screens. Activities like exercise, yoga, and meditation are beneficial for mental health, which benefits your team’s quality of work and overall well-being. In fact, the Harvard Business Review cites that cognitive performance correlates to physical activity. Incorporating regular exercise can improve work performance through improved concentration, enhanced memory, faster learning, prolonged mental stamina, and lower stress. Encourage your colleagues to stay active during busy season by offering a wellness stipend or other incentive.

The future of busy season includes a variable workforce

Considering the constant need for skilled auditors, public accounting firms can no longer rely on traditional workforce solutions. So how can forward-thinking firms attract top talent, keep morale high, and mitigate burnout during busy season and beyond? By leveraging the power of on-demand workers and flexible workforce solutions like Makosi.


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