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The good times are ending for the bankers working from home

Everyone likes working from home - at least a bit. But they might not be able to for much longer.

Our bonus and job market expectations survey asked the 2,000 respondents how their hybrid working patterns had changed over the last two years. Predictably, the office is back.

 

The overwhelming trend is upwards. On average, bank employees were working 7% more days in the office in 2023 than 2022, with all sectors (bar operations) noting an upward trend over the period.

The most egregious increases were for compliance and technology professionals. The former might be a bit surprising – compliance people were the most confident people we polled in terms of their ability to find a new job, as well as some of the least insecure about their current role; you'd have thought they would hold out for homeworking. Technologists were middle of the pack on both counts.

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Working from home is often thought to lead to long hours, but the office can too. One associate in the UAE said that whilst they “like being in the office” due to their productivity, “the company takes advantage and makes us work overtime frequently, which leads to employees disliking being in office.”

Another junior, this time in the middle office had similar thoughts, noting that whilst he liked the “direct communication” with colleagues that avoids “any misunderstanding”, they hated the wasted time of sitting in traffic (both lost time and traffic being a common cause of concern for respondents).

Finding a balance between Covid’s work-from-home drive and a commercial-rent-driven-full-time-office has proven to be a challenging point of contention for banks and bankers. Our Ideal Employer report found that banks with significant allowance for flexible & hybrid working arrangements were extremely well seen by prospective employees.

That conflicts with employers, who want to make good use of the commercial rent they’re paying on their offices – and they definitely don’t get a discount for how often those offices are empty.

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AUTHORZeno Toulon

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