October 14, 2022

Fighting the Unhappiness Epidemic

Fighting the Unhappiness Epidemic

One benefit of working in the accounting profession is that I have always looked forward to Mondays. That might be surprising, given the deadlines and pressures that come with working in this field, but I’ve always counted myself lucky that I chose the right career as an undergraduate at Hofstra University. It’s one that has never failed to keep me interested. In fact, it’s even more engaging to me now than ever, as the trends shaping our profession are presenting exciting new opportunities with our clients and to grow our firm.

It turns out that having a job that makes you look forward to Mondays is one of the most important keys to happiness, no matter what country in the world you live in—and I hope that most of our associates feel as I do. Gallup just did a survey of happiness levels around the world. While unhappiness is rising globally, I’m sorry to learn, the researchers found that two of the five most important factors for the world’s happiest people are being fulfilled by their work and having low financial stress. (The others, in case you’re curious, are living in great communities, having good physical health, and having loved ones they can turn to for help.)

Gallup’s research reminded me of the trust that is placed in us when someone takes a job at Marcum. To some large degree, they are putting their daily happiness in our hands. And how much they enjoy coming to work (whether that means coming to one of our offices, a client location or logging on remotely) affects other things in their lives, like whether they have any energy left to give back to their communities or to build a good home life. Everything is connected.

No doubt many on our team were working at full-tilt this past week, as yet another tax deadline looms this coming Monday, October 17. That’s par for the course in our field—but we give a lot of time and attention to making sure we are not burning our people out. Marcum has never been an “always-on” culture.

That is why, through thick and thin, we’ve always kept our commitment to work-life balance front and center. That includes flexible schedules and even sabbaticals, which enable associates to take blocks of time off with full benefits and a partial salary.

Beyond that, with each year, we continue to prioritize diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) in our daily activity and to track the outcomes. Our goal is to create a culture where every associate feels seen and heard, and where there is access to the partnership track for everyone who wants it.

I don’t want to turn this into a catalogue for our HR benefits. It’s all about personal success and fulfillment, however you define it. In today’s work environment, those are not only nice things to have but also a competitive advantage for our firm, attracting the best and the brightest and making them want to stay with us as they rise through the ranks of our profession. Ultimately, it’s a lot easier to create a happiness epidemic than to try to turn around an unhappy culture. What’s not to like?

As for this coming weekend, it’s a great time to be a New York sports fan. The 4-1 NY Giants play the Ravens at home Sunday, while the 3-2 NY Jets are in Green Bay playing the Packers. I could imagine the betting line on those two teams having those records going into week 6. And this afternoon, the NY Yankees play their rained-out game from last night against Cleveland in the American League Division Series, which the Yankees lead 1-0.

Have a good weekend all.