According to Arizent, 50 percent of American bankers, want to continue working from home/remotely even after the pandemic ends. The survey, conducted by the media and market research firm, further found that seven out of ten bank staffers believe that their employer will provide greater workplace flexibility moving forward.
And the percentage of U.S bank employees who work at least partially from home nearly doubled over the past year, with more than half of the industry workers wanting to keep performing job duties remotely, the study found.
Financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan have taken a different stance, not allowing their employees to work from home, providing a lack of flexibility in the workplace, something seen as paramount during a pandemic and moving forward.
Other industries, namely the tech space, including companies like Spotify, Twitter, Salesforce, Netflix, and Amazon (mostly for corporate employees) - have enacted various homeworking/work from anywhere policies that extend beyond the pandemic.
I spoke with Angela Ashenden, principal analyst, workplace transformation at CCS Insight, to get her to take on the dissonance of the situation - the kind that exists between companies that enable remote working and those that do not.
Accordingly, I posed a critical question: What does the future of work look like? Her response: "While many people want to continue working from home, our research shows that most do not want to do it full time." Said workers, according to Ashenden, miss the interaction they had in the office, and that has not gotten replicated using digital tools; so far. These individuals, according to Ashenden, want to have the choice of where they work day-to-day.
"They will do this based on the tasks they have to carry out that day."
If someone needs to focus on individual work, they might choose to do it from home, where it is quieter. On days where their tasks involve lots of collaboration with colleagues, some employees might choose the office. Over time - Ashenden said that she does foresee more businesses embracing activity-based working. "Doing so will give employees the autonomy to decide what will be more productive for them on a given day," she notes.
Blurring the lines between work and home
Make no mistake; although the hybrid model and the time people spend working, often get lumped together, the two are different. Some people want to work more flexible hours that fit better into their personal lives.
"This is where more complexity creeps in, as you start to have problems around blurring home and work, something we have seen extensively during the pandemic."
Ashenden summarizes that flexible work hours will create complications for businesses as they try to balance employee requests for flexibility with the home/work separation to maintain employee wellbeing.
The solution? She believes that we will rely on UCC technology to help manage this process more effectively. For example, those working from home want to minimize notifications whenever they are not (actively) working; and to ensure that other people respect the time they work. And these times do likely vary based on location and other variables.
There should also be clear policies from businesses that state when employees should be available and when they are not expected to be. Clarity, on all fronts, is one of the many keys to successful hybrid work environments even after the Coronavirus is no longer a threat.