Work, as both a place and an activity, has changed

Wealth Management and Private Banking

10 September 2020

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Work, as both a place and an activity, has changed. What does the future look like? Is it now about the work-life blend rather than balance?

Expert: Katherine Savage, Partner People advisory services and Rachel Bergamini, Senior Manager, EY 

State of play

  • Huge number of audits being done to see how well companies managed the crisis. How involved were legal, data privacy implications etc.
  • There is a significant Societal implication on property portfolios – shutting down offices etc.
  • If senior leaders begin to return to work, are those that decide to return also going to be treated more favourably?
  • No longer having location as a barrier for where you work from could be exciting – niche skill sets, tapping into clients outside of the UK, what’s the opportunity for the global talent pool?
  • Undertaking performance management conversations remotely is quite tough.
  • Behaviours – big focus on behaviours, but it’s now switching to agility, innovation etc.
  • How is data being used. Who has access to it? 

Gear 2

  • How do we use this pandemic to think about how we work? Do we really need people five days a week, what roles really need to operate face to face? An opportunity to tear up the rule book. How do you attract people to come and work for you? However, how do you ensure you don’t have a productivity dip? Upping the ante on wellness and mental health programmes. Not just about remuneration. Thinking much more creatively around flexibility.
  • Majority of HRDs are looking to transform in the wake of the pandemic. Biggest focus areas are tech, retention and recruitment. Thinking about what the role of the office is.
  • Remote working will continue for at least three days a week across the workforce.
  • EY view is that offices will not disappear – workers still crave the collaboration, water cooler moments, the social side of work. Some folks have a strong preference that they like working in an office.
  • The lens of the employee is one thing, but do we have a feel on what the view of the client is? Everyone is focused on employees – we should be asking what clients want first, surely?

“I don’t feel confident I know what employees are doing daily – what is the right balance in terms of monitoring?”

  • How we are working right now is not sustainable (in EY view). Not everyone has optimal working environments. Now schools are back it has made things slightly easier. Hard conversations around productivity and redundancy. Most leaders are resistant about surveillance and monitoring.
  • One of the delegates reported how they have done some initiatives where they have sent teams that cover certain countries to those countries and put them up there for four weeks. This has worked well and given a competitive advantage. Clients WANT to see us physically; bankers want to be in front of clients. Challenge is permanent establishment and tax.

“From a staff perspective I am not excited about this at all – work has become reactive, not proactive. Data access is also a concern. This causes a delay in the whole chain. CEO & COO have decided to be present every day.”