One in five Scottish financial services workers support fully remote working, research finds

More than one in five Scottish financial sector employees back fully remote working, according to new research by Accenture.

A survey of almost 200 Scotland-based financial services employees across banking, capital markets and insurance has revealed that 21% of workers would prefer to work entirely from home once a full return to office is possible as COVID-19 restrictions ease across the UK.

The vast majority (70%) said that they would prefer to work just two days a week or less in the office. A tiny 5% said they would favour a return to five days a week in the office.

A flexible working schedule, in relation to hours and days worked, was the number one initiative workers wanted from their employers, with 69% saying that this would help them adjust to working life living with the virus.

A higher proportion of employees in Scotland (66%) than the rest of the UK (59%) do not know if such initiatives will be offered in their workplace and only 31% are aware of whether their employer will begin offering flexible working.

Overall, the research indicates a positive employer/employee relationship within Scotland’s financial services industry, which supports about 160,000 jobs, The Scotsman reports. 

The majority (88%) feel that they have the support they need to balance work and other commitments. About one in four respondents (24%) say that support has increased since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

In a positive sign of how the health crisis has impacted work culture, 60% said their employers had become more considerate of employee mental health.

The survey also revealed that employees in Scotland are more likely (64%) than their peers Ukwide (57%) to agree that their workplace and role could not return to pre-Covid “normal” and more than a third (39%) would forgo compensation if they could work fully remotely.

More than half of respondents (56%) said they had been more productive working at home and 69%agreed that foregoing the daily commute had given them more free time.

Stuart Chalmers, head of financial services for Accenture Scotland, said: “As Scotland’s financial services companies develop their future working-from-home policies, this research suggests that a majority of employees at all levels don’t want simply to go back to pre-pandemic routines.

“This presents both challenges and opportunities for firms in Scotland thinking not just about where employees are doing their work but how they are working too. While working from home has opened up new possibilities for talented people to locate north of the Border, how they are enabled to be productive is crucial.

“The sector has a big opportunity to reinvent physical workspaces, complemented by digital environments, to drive collaboration with colleagues throughout the UK and shape positive workplace cultures post-pandemic.”

Tags: Accenture

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