4 reasons to be cheerful about hybrid working in capital markets firms
- Posted on January 27, 2022
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
The beginning of the end is in sight. The pandemic is still very much active, but with the vital statistics trending downwards, it feels like many of the restrictions that have become part of daily life for the past two years will be lifted in the not-too-distant future.
And that means a full-time return to office working, right?
The truth is, hybrid and remote working aren’t going anywhere. Before the pandemic, 65% of employers did not offer regular working from home options. After the crisis, that 65% is expected to fall to 37%. In other words, most employers will now offer regular work-from-home options. A total transformation.
It’s a different mindset – a mindset that some employers, especially in the financial services sector, might find difficult to accept. In my recent blog post, I argued that embracing hybrid working is essential to a good employee experience. But there are profound advantages to hybrid and remote working beyond making your employees happier. Let’s take a look:
- It builds a culture of trust
Every company wants to get full value from every member of staff. If they’re on the sofa binge-watching the latest Netflix series when they should be working, then of course that’s bad for business. But very few employees are doing this. The vast majority of employees are working harder and longer than when they were in the office. Trusting your employees yields numerous benefits: it improves efficiency and productivity, it enhances decision-making, it decreases stress and burnout, and improves innovation and creativity. With technology now making it easy than ever to call and chat, trust is no longer an issue.
- It boosts productivity
According to the London School of Economics, remote working is shown to improve productivity and reduce burnout. It increases innovation by 63%, work engagement by 75% and organisational commitment by 68%. Tracking of internet usage and other big brother tactics won’t be well-received by employees.
- It keeps team spirit alive
Being digital-first doesn’t mean being digital-only. The office still has a role to play. There’s still room for in-office meetings and face-to-face exchanges, including those water-cooler moments, social events and all-important team bonding experiences. This is critical for junior-level staff and new joiners. However, the last 5-10 years have seen learning and development increasingly being conducted via online tools, so your people can still develop and grow regardless of where they are.
- It’s the future of work
Apart from the pandemic, there are deeper changes already underway in the workplace. Millennials and Gen Z recruits expect flexibility and a fairer work-life balance. The recent Goldman Sachs junior bankers petition over long working hours shows that the mood is changing in the sector. Remote working also offers employers the opportunity to hugely expand the talent pool, opening up job roles to skilled employees from further afield.
The benefits don’t stop there
Wealth and asset management firms like yours are looking for improved digital investor experiences, deeper data insights and faster onboarding for new clients. The very same technology that makes remote working possible – Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Viva – also bring client-facing advantages. They aren’t just for employees, they can help your clients, too. And they may already be sitting unused in your technology stack.
With Microsoft Teams, the benefits are profound. On average, businesses save 4 hours a week through improved collaboration and information-sharing and see a 17.7% improvement on time needed to make decisions. The ROI of Microsoft Teams over three years is a staggering 832%.
Microsoft 365 – the package that contains your email addresses, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word, Excel and much more – delivers a similar punch when it comes to ROI. A firm of 2,500 people can expect an estimated three-year ROI of 105%.
Clearly, you need more than just the right technology. The true challenge is in changing your workplace culture and remote working roadmap to improve client service levels, drives staff productivity, and give your employees the flexibility they are asking for.