Hybrid Work: A New Horizon in The Financial Services Industry
In a recent study, the GMB trade union found that one in four finance sector professionals work eight hours of unpaid overtime each week, on average. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a positive work-life balance to keep employees happy.
The work-from-home shift brought on by the pandemic has caused employers and employees in the financial services industry to have different attitudes about the future of work. Many employers want to reopen offices, but employees would rather have this change be more permanent. They’re bidding goodbye to five days of commuting and cubicles.
With over 60% of FS employees reluctant to return to the ‘old normal’ due to a lack of work flexibility, it’s clear that something needs to change. Leaders in the financial services industry need a solid plan for the future of work that can account for the various trends affecting the sector.
After almost two years of the pandemic, many financial services industry leaders are still trying to figure out what the future of work looks like. Although employees have been largely productive while working remotely, executives are worried about things like burnout and whether current work practices are sustainable.
Hybrid Work as a Plausible Solution
In the past few years, many of your workers may have thrived while working from home – but this doesn’t necessarily mean they want to make a move permanent.
That’s where a 50/50 approach can be useful. You can create a dynamic, personalized. working environment by allowing your staff to try both – working from the office sometimes and working from home at other times.
As proved over the past few pandemic-struck years, finance work can continue while working from home – therefore, hybrid working is appropriate for the finance industry, so long as you input the necessary systems to enable it.
A recent study by PageGroup found that most millennials expect flexible work to be offered as standard in the workplace and not as an additional benefit. By adapting your finance organization’s working model to enable flexible working, your staff will feel intrinsically more motivated to work hard for a company that looks after them well. Any method of increasing staff satisfaction is certainly worth considering.
This approach may offer a worthwhile step forward for finance companies. If you want to keep all your team members motivated, making this option available to all your employees is a wonderful place to start. Therefore, if your finance business wants to attract the next generation of excellent talent, you should strongly consider the viability of hybrid working.
Ensuring a smooth transition to remote work in the financial services industry?
Developing a plan to support employees who work remotely is important for organizations.
Employees who work remotely should have a “to-do” list that includes learning about childcare benefits, training for leaders working in remote environments, and clear expectations about how and when work is to be done. Leaders should guide resources that can help employees with these topics, as well as communicate frequently about expectations and work progress.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
If you’re looking to create a truly inclusive workplace for everyone, it’s important to consider that working remotely can present some challenges. Everything from how we build remote teams to how we communicate via video-conference can be interpreted differently by people of different ages, genders, cultures, and backgrounds.
To create a fair and equitable environment for all, it’s crucial that we regularly check in with everyone and ask the question: ‘ are we leaving anyone out?’
Pay attention to logistical details.
By focusing on the little things, companies can cultivate a productive work environment. For instance, policies that support working parents show employees that the company cares about their time and well-being. Additionally, programs like remote team-building activities or a concierge program to provide effective IT resources despite location can go a long way in building employee loyalty and appreciation.
Embracing a hybrid work model with a human-centered approach
The most effective financial services leaders won’t just stop at virtualizing the office – they’ll go one step further by implementing human-centric work design to meet the future of work.
They’ll challenge the core elements of the pre-pandemic workplace and build their workplaces around radical flexibility, intentional collaboration, and empathy-based management. This way, they’ll be better prepared to meet the needs of their employees and provide a better work experience overall.
Human-centric design outperforms office-centric design in a few key areas. On average, there is a 28% rise in overall employee performance, a 45% increase in employee intent to stay, and a 44% decrease in employee fatigue.
Adopting practices that focus on the human element will help financial services industry leaders build sustainable organizations that can thrive in hybrid work environments. These practices will help drive and maintain employee engagement and performance in the future.
Leaders should collaborate to help new employees find mentors and connections. Without making up for the lack of in-person social and developmental opportunities, digitizing onboarding limits its effectiveness. This stops new hires from being able to properly join their team and become accustomed to the organizational culture.
Instead, successful banks will create onboarding programs that support new connections with peers and managers in a hybrid environment. Moreover, teams that are more intentional with their collaboration will be much more innovative.
Hybrid working represents a new, daunting proposition for the leaders of some finance companies – particularly if you have dozens of employees.
Your decision regarding return to the office could change your exposure to various risks, which could hurt the company’s reputation or put you at risk for legal, economic, operational, cybersecurity, fraud, and reputational issues.
Therefore, involving your employees in this decision-making process is crucial so everyone is on the same page and knows what could happen if things go wrong.
Just make sure you do the necessary preparation before springing it onto your employees at short notice. Also, please speak to your employees to ensure that hybrid working is something they want! It is only worth pursuing if it is in demand.