Financial services workers call for flexibility

Employees in financial services appreciate autonomy, but miss collaborating with one another

More than half of employees in financial services would like to see changes to their working week post-Covid, according to a survey by consulting firm Deloitte.

The consultancy asked 2,000 financial services workers what their working preferences would be after the pandemic, and found that 54% would like alternative working patterns such as flexible hours or the option to work remotely.

A similar proportion (52%) wanted their employer to allow them to work from wherever they liked in the UK, while a quarter (24%) wanted to be able to work outside the UK.

Almost half (48%) said that after the pandemic their employer would be more likely to hire ‘globalised talent’, and 76% were comfortable with the possibility of being able to recruit from anywhere in the world.

Deloitte’s survey comes soon after the announcement by fellow ‘big four’ consulting firm PwC that employees could decide on the most effective working patterns for their role, as well as finish early on Fridays in the summer months.

While employees felt they had gained autonomy over how and where they worked (cited by 45%), there was an acknowledgement that working remotely had lessened a sense of belonging.

More than a third (34%) felt that relationships with colleagues were less meaningful because of remote work.

Payal Vasudeva, financial services future of work partner at Deloitte, said: “Changes to how people work need to be reinforced by meaningful employee experiences. This could be a sense of belonging, purpose or greater flexibility in the hours they work and where they work from. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

“The new world of work is not about presenteeism but empowerment. Employees should be able to make some choices in how and where they work that makes them their most productive.”

Richard Hammell, UK financial services leader, added: “Over the past year, office-based sectors, including financial services, have quickly transitioned to a new way of working but the value of in-person interactions will never disappear.

“As we emerge from the pandemic, the opportunity to change how and where we work will enable the industry to widen its talent pool and support economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

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