As banks consider shrinking their real estate permanently in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, a survey of British financial services workers shows that two thirds believe that their company should be doing more to help them work productively from home.
With big banks adapting to a world where tens of thousands of staff are working remotely, several have already begun contemplating whether they will ever return to huge, social distancing-unfriendly offices.
Earlier this week, Barclays CEO Jes Staley said that "the notion of putting 7000 people in a building may be a thing of the past," while Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing has floated the idea of shrinking real estate.
A new survey from Atlas Cloud suggests that FS industry workers may feel comfortable working from home. Of 440 quizzed, 85% believe the lockdown has proven they can work effectively from home.
However, only 37% say their employer has helped them to make adequate provisions to work from home long-term. Meanwhile, almost a quarter argue that they need their company to act urgently to enable them to work productively from home during the lockdown.
On specific challenges, almost half of those quizzed say their work is hampered by poor home internet performance, and 22% complain about having to log in to too many separate software packages and apps. Another 20% say they are having issues accessing computer files they need, and 17% are unhappy with their computer.
The survey also highlights security risks, with 23% of workers using their personal computers for work, and seven per cent admitting they have no password protection on their device.
Pete Watson, CEO, Atlas Cloud, says: “We are living through the largest overnight change in British working habits since the outbreak of the Second World War.
“Our research shows that the majority of FS workers believe they need more help from their employers to cope with the technological challenges of working from home. However, the research also shows that FS workers may not be working from home as safely from a business and cyber security aspect as they could be.
“This should not at all be a blame game. The financial services sector has faced a national emergency of the kind we have never seen before and the aim for all of us is to help FS businesses to perform as well as they can do during this time."