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Bankers don’t want to go back to the office

Research from Accenture shows attitudes among financial services workers vary but the underlying trend is not an optimistic one for managers wanting to encourage them back into the office.

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One in four (25 per cent) UK financial services workers want to work entirely from home in the future, according to new research from Accenture.

The government’s current guidance is for those who can work from home until 19 July when restrictions are scheduled to be lifted. The much discussed issue of 'the future of the office' is becoming reality with undecided firms starting to play their hand. 

Staff at the Bank of England, for example, have been asked this week to move to a new system of a minimum of one day per week from September.  

Many are hoping for greater flexibility, wishing to come back to the office part-time. More than two thirds (69 per cent) said they would prefer to work in the office just two days a week or less.

Few seem keen for a full time return, with less than one in 10 (8 per cent) favouring a return to five days a week in the office.

Despite the apparent desire from employees, more than half (54 per cent) still weren’t sure whether flexible working was going to be offered by their employer. 

Over half (57 per cent) believe that their workplace and role could not return to pre-COVID “normal” and more than a third (39 per cent) said they would be happy to forgo compensation if they could work fully remotely.

The same proportion (57 per cent) said they had been more productive working at home and 71 per cent agreed that losing their daily commute had given them more free time. 

“As financial services firms develop their future working from home policies, the findings of this research signal loud and clear that the majority of employees at all levels want the pre-pandemic routine to be a thing of the past, Laura O’Sullivan, UK & Ireland Banking Strategy Lead, Accenture, said.

Accenture surveyed over 1,400 UK FS employees across banking, capital markets and insurance.

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