Despite the advent of hybrid working, new figures suggest that large numbers of financial services and banking professionals are planning to leave the industry due to high pressure.
The study, by LemonEdge, a digital accountancy platform for venture capital, suggested that nearly a quarter (23%) of financial service workers are concerned about their health or mental health.
According to the research there is a risk of an exodus from the industry that risks seeing valuable talent leaving the sector in record numbers amid increasing rates of burnout.
The study acknowledges that many workers have experienced the positive benefits of hybrid working, with some saying they are “thriving”, but a third (33%) of financial services and banking professionals state levels of burnout have increased partly because of changes in work environment since the pandemic. Within this, one in six (14%) state burnout has increased exponentially.
Approaching half of financial services and banking professionals (42%) stated that a heavy workload was the main contributor to heightened pressure in their roles. This was closely followed by manual processes (36%), long working hours (32%), tight deadlines (26%), and increasing demands from management (25%).
Burnout and resignations
A quarter (26%) of financial and banking staff said they were feeling nervous about the future, while a further 23% are specifically worried about their health or mental health.
Overall, one in six (15%) financial services workers said they often feel as though they can no longer continue in the sector, or have the desire to continue in their role within the industry, rising to 21% of males.
A third of financial services professionals stated that a reduced workload would reduce burnout. Other solutions include time off work (27%), more support from management (25%), and faster, more efficient technology (23%).
Gareth Hewitt, co-founder and chief executive officer at LemonEdge, said: “With thousands of employees planning to leave the industry as a direct result of high pressure, it should be a clear warning to firms before they risk losing valuable talent.
“The risk of burnout to employers is huge, and there are simple measures firms can introduce to reduce the risk of burnout, making the lives of their employees’ much simpler, easier, and with less stress. Firms need to be aware of the impact absenteeism and presenteeism will have on both their employees and business productivity. Just because you’re working from home, or in a hybrid model, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy time off.
“With one in four (23%) asking for faster or improved technology to eliminate manual processes, firms need to look at their approaches to improve the lives of their staff. In this day and age, technology, not only can but should, provide the automation and flexibility that can contribute to reduced stress, reduced working hours, and lower risk of burnout.”
Many companies in associated sectors, such as professional services, have introduced schemes to alleviate burnout and attract talent. For example, PwC has extended its summer hours working scheme whereby staff have Friday afternoons off.