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Around 50% of Financial Services Workers in the UK Want to Continue Working from Home

A report carried out by the Financial Services Skills Commission and KPMG has shown that around half of the UK’s workers in the financial services industry would like to carry on working remotely for at least part of the week once the pandemic is over.

Details of the Study

The research found that this industry was able to react swiftly to the lockdown imposed in March this year, as 78% of financial services employees started to work from home.

Looking ahead, 26% of workers in this sector would like to work full-time from now on, even once the pandemic is over. The survey also revealed that 13% of them are planning to relocate after the current health crisis ends.

Workers of all ages are keen to stay at home to work, although the percentage of people looking to do this changes according to age. For example, those aged under 30 are the most eager to work from home on a permanent basis, with 28% looking for this.

On the other hand, the workers who expressed the greatest desire for more flexibility were aged between 31 and 45, with 53% of this age group looking to gain extra flexibility.

Mel Newton is the Head of Financial Services People Consulting at KPMG UK. She said that the coronavirus outbreak has “created a global shift in ways of working”, causing the workforce to now be scattered over home offices. This has caused some issues but has also given a lot of people some “welcome flexibility”.

What New Skills Are Needed?

The survey also asked workers if they have the right set of skills to succeed in this new work environment. 30% responded that they need more digital training, which reflects the fact that only around a quarter have received digital training from their companies.

12% think that their employer hasn´t done anything to help them cope with this new way of working, while 21% said that working remotely requires different management and leadership skills from working in the office.

Claire Tunley is the CEO at Financial Services Skills Commission, and she said that the country has seen “a huge leap forwards in digitisation and remote working” but pointed out the British firms need to increase investment in the relevant skills.

What Could the Effect Be?

The long-term effects of far more people working from home are yet to be seen. However, Gertjan Vlieghe, who is part of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, has issued an update on the UK’s current economic challenges.

Vlieghe pointed out that people might be less keen on spending the whole week working in the office, or in carrying out business travel. This would have a huge effect on areas as diverse as airlines, hotels, conference facilities, office space and commuter travel. With many of these industries already relying on the debt collection process, it will be a difficult period ahead.

He stated this could mean people working in “declining sectors” would have to look for new jobs in expanding sectors.