Recent research found that 89% of CEOs expect flexible working between home and the office to remain a permanent feature of the corporate world, even after the pandemic is over. However, others are keen to get back to the normal five days in the office routine.
There is a genuine concern that if employees continue working from home fulltime then they will lose that all-important sense of belonging, loyalty, team spirit and joy that comes from working collaboratively together in person. Employers would not be able to monitor workloads, it makes it more difficult to maintain culture and to assess employee wellbeing and mental health, and it’s hard to optimise engagement and collaboration.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon said that working from home was “not a new normal” and he has stressed the importance of “personal connectivity” and “direct mentorship”. Barclay’s boss Jes Staley also said that working from home is “not sustainable” as it will negatively affect collaboration and culture, which is key in such large institutions.
However, many firms like UBS, Deutsche Bank and especially the tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter, have been positive about flexible/remote working. Undoubtedly working from home can have some benefits for individuals, such as no stressful commutes, opportunity to dress more casually, commuter time and money savings. Overall, there is a perceived better work-life balance which has left many employees less interested in returning to the office full-time.
Many firms understand how much of a selling point it is to have a hybrid working model and are using this feature to attract top talent. The attitude towards flexible working is definitely changing, and last month the UK government announced that it is proposing to give all employees the right to request flexible working when they start new jobs – now workers have to wait until they have been in their role for six months.
Ultimately every firm must decide for themselves what works best for them and come to a solution that will allow them to keep that sense of belonging and culture as well as retaining and attracting top talent, and, likewise, each individual must decide what works best for them and their careers.
Thankfully the options for candidates within the Compliance and Financial Crime space are plentiful, ranging from full “remote-first” working through to more traditional four or five days a week in the office. At Danos Associates we work with the most blue-chip organisations that straddle both ends of that scale.
If you would like to discuss the current market and what flexible working opportunities are available, please contact Isabel or a team member.
Isabel Anchebe, Senior Associate, Compliance, Danos Associates
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