Liz Fisher, journalist

Six out of 10 finance professionals based in the Caribbean and half of those based in North America say that their mental health suffers because of work pressures, according to a major new global survey from ACCA.

Global talent trends 2024, which reflects the views of almost 10,000 finance professionals in 157 countries, shows a range of pressures on finance professionals and their employers worldwide as organisations continue to grapple with rapidly evolving technology, changing work practices and the rising cost of living.

Almost half of respondents intend to move to a new role in the next 12 months


Regional analysis of the results shows that work-related stress, anxiety and burnout is a particular problem in the Caribbean – 65% of finance professionals in the region say that they would like more support from their employer on mental health, with 60% saying they don’t believe their employer considers mental health to be a priority.

Finance professionals based in North America do not seem to be suffering to the same extent, but a third have considered resigning from their job because of wellbeing issues (the figure is 48% for respondents in the Caribbean).

55% in North America and 46% in the Caribbean are concerned about the implications AI on their own job

Generational analysis shows that concerns over wellbeing are more pronounced among younger generations. Globally, 61% of respondents under the age of 26 say their mental health is suffering because of work pressures, but only 40% of baby boomers say the same.

The report speculates on the possible reasons for these mental health concerns and suggests that the impact of technology on the workplace may be a root cause.

Pressure points

It is clear from the survey that the onward march of artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace is at the forefront of finance professionals’ minds. Respondents in the Caribbean, however, are among the most relaxed of all about the pace of tech change.

While 37% of respondents globally say they are overwhelmed with the pace of change, this falls to just 24% in the Caribbean; the 40% figure in North America is slightly higher than the global average. While respondents accept that AI will enhance their role, 55% of North Americans and 46% based in the Caribbean are personally concerned about the implications for their own job (and younger generations are more likely to be worried).

The impact of inflation on salaries is by far the biggest workplace worry in the Caribbean

In the Caribbean, it appears that the rising cost of living could be responsible for the decline in mental health. The impact of inflation on salaries was raised by respondents across the globe but is by far the biggest workplace worry in the Caribbean, where 48% named it as a top three concern.

Next steps

There is a potential talent crisis here for employers. Overall, 53% of respondents in North America and 67% of those in the Caribbean say that they are not satisfied with their current salary.

North American respondents appear to be tackling this dissatisfaction by asking their current employer for a pay rise (58% say they will do so in the coming 12 months). Caribbean respondents are less likely to ask for a pay rise (37%) and are more likely to seek a new position with another employer: 54% of Caribbean respondents say leaving their current employer is the best way to increase their salary.

‘There are big mismatches between how employees want to work and how they are working’

A lack of career opportunities is also a factor in mobility decisions – only 47% of North American respondents and 40% of those in the Caribbean are satisfied with their career opportunities at their current employer, with 47% in both regions worried they are not developing the right skills for the future workplace.

Almost half of respondents in both North America and the Caribbean say they intend to move to a new role in the next 12 months. Many intend that move to be an external one; 44% of respondents in North America and 52% in the Caribbean say their next move will be to a new company, with the need to earn more and better career opportunities cited as the primary reasons.

Home or office?

The survey also tracks how working patterns are changing in the wake of the pandemic. In the 2023 survey, 57% of respondents globally said they were fully office-based, while 35% were working on a hybrid basis. This year, 52% are working in the office, while 41% have a hybrid arrangement and 7% work remotely.

There are marked differences from country to country, though – only a quarter of respondents in Canada are office-based, for example, compared with 60% of those in Jamaica and 57% in Trinidad & Tobago.

The report notes ‘big mismatches between how employees want to work and how they are working’, with a strong preference for a hybrid arrangement among all respondents. This can be seen especially clearly in the responses from the Caribbean, where only 32% of respondents work on a hybrid basis at the moment but 75% say they would prefer to.

Over 70% of respondents in North America and 86% of those in the Caribbean say they are in the office because their employer requires it, but 66% and 74% respectively say they feel more productive when working remotely.

It is possible that working arrangements will become the battleground for talent retention in the coming years as finance professionals look for a better work-life balance.

More information

See AB’s overview of the report’s global findings; the global survey results are also available separately.

See also the findings from UK respondents, from Europe and Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East and South Asia