Wall Street is once again buzzing. And after false starts, the finance industry is hoping return to office plans will finally stick this time around. Banks including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Bank of America have begun bringing employees back to the office.
The question remains– how do you get staff back to the office and want to be there? It’s a question that’s rattling an industry with split opinions on the future of work.
The challenge facing Wall Street banks and mid-market investment shops alike is this: employers want in-office workweeks of four to five days to strengthen connectivity and collaboration. Employees want far less, pointing to first-hand experience that working remotely is both convenient and productive.
No one is sure what comes next, but the sense is that those who get it right earn a new competitive advantage in retaining talent, boosting client relationships, and optimizing collaboration workflows.
FINDING THE OPPORTUNITY IN HYBRID WORK
Client relationships are at the heart of the debate surrounding the hybrid workplace. Nurturing strategies have long run on face-to-face meetings, a firm handshake, and the experience of sharing physical space. Over the past two years, many of your clients have come to appreciate what, and how much more, they can get done when they don’t have to travel to routine meetings. The opportunity for you then is in being able to replicate the in-person experience through virtual meetings and bringing your soft skills to the digital realm when and where clients prefer video over in-person.
Employee communication and collaboration are equally important, and you may have made extensive investments in systems to enable this for an in-office environment. But a Humans in Finance study found that 63% of finance professionals believe they are more productive when working from home. Tapping into cloud-based solutions can expand this increased productivity by improving the quality of communication and collaboration while protecting and extending your existing infrastructure.
Retaining and developing employees is another foundation of success that has been complicated by not having everyone in a single location. Hiring is competitive, talent is in short supply, and hybrid working has become an essential perk. The 2021 Riverbed/Atenity Global Work Survey reported that 96% of financial services decision-makers believe hybrid work schedules will help with recruiting top talent and remaining competitive. In October 2021, American Express announced its Amex Flex program, and it, Wells Fargo, and BNY Mellon have adopted hybrid work into their return to the office.
MAXIMIZE BENEFITS, MINIMIZE RISKS
By its nature, the financial industry is risk-averse, and that can get in the way of making changes. But, in this case, the benefits of blending on-site and remote work are rich. Firms that learn how to create clear and effective experiences across many locations can build stronger customer relationships, improve operations with better communication and collaboration, and attract and retain top talent in a tight labor market.
Download our eBook, Hybrid Work in Financial Services: Risk or Opportunity, for tailored advice on how to help your business thrive, wherever your employees are working.