The events of 2020 and beyond have positively impacted the culture of Britain’s banking and financial services sector, with almost half (48%) of employees in the industry confirming working from home has had a positive impact on their workplace culture, according to our recent research.
And, as organisations eventually start to make plans for their employees to return to the office, they need to note that more than half (53%) of those working in banking/financial services are ‘dreading going back to the workplace.’
The same report also uncovered that 28% of employees in banking/financial services said working from home has had a positive effect on their mental health, while almost half (41%) said sentiment towards their job has been positively impacted and 42% confirmed their relationship with their boss/employer has improved since they started working from home.
There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in challenging times for businesses. With many teams working remotely, organisations have had to improve their communication, keeping employees informed of developments, while demonstrating empathy, and providing coaching plus support for their mental health and general wellbeing.
The research found that most employees have credited their organisations with having a positive culture in the current climate, with many benefitting from improvements to their productivity, overall wellbeing, creativity, work-life balance and relationships with key stakeholders, such as their employer.
Remote working has long been an area of contention for many organisations but now, in light of employees discovering what can be achieved remotely, they're calling for those at the top to consider a more modernised approach.
On the positive impact of working from home on various cultural factors, the research found:
- 52% of employees in banking/financial services confirmed working from home has had a positive impact on their work-life balance
- 48% of employees in banking/financial services said they feel more likely to experience something they would describe as bullying or harassment while in the workplace, compared to just 39% who feel more likely to face this while working from home
- 35% of employees in banking/financial services confirmed working remotely has positively impacted their job motivation
- More than one-quarter (27%) are receiving passive-aggressive comments less often now they’re working from home
- Creativity has improved for many, with more than one-third (34%) saying remote working has had a positive effect
- Trust has improved for the better with 39% confirming trust in their boss/employer has been positively impacted
- Half (50%) said their employer/boss has asked about their wellbeing more often, since they started working from home
- Almost half (44%) are being trusted to get on with their job more now they’re working from home, meaning many are able to work autonomously without being micromanaged
On the negative effects of working from home, the research found:
- Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are rife, with one-third (33%) of employees in banking/financial services feeling these more so working from home than they did previously
- More than half (53%) of employees in banking/financial services feel isolated when working from home
The consensus is that remote working has positively impacted employees’ wellbeing and is something employers should absolutely be considering as they plan for the future – especially now the success of this approach has been clearly proven.
While there are of course some key factors organisations need to work on, employers should be ensuring they have systems and tools in place to empower their teams to remain productive, creative and supported, even while they’re working from home.
Culture Shift exists to lead positive change in workplace culture, through building products that empower organisations to tackle harassment and bullying. Our proprietary online reporting platform gives businesses the insight they need to monitor and prevent bullying and harassment, and support anybody who experiences it, either in the office or remotely.
By providing clear and safe reporting pathways, organisations can encourage a speak up culture. Employers in the insurance industry should not only signpost to these platforms, but actively encourage employees to use them, with those that do speak out against bullying encouraged and supported for doing so, rather than perpetuating any stigma.
Taking a proactive and preventative approach to tackling negative and harmful behaviours, will in turn help protect company culture and employee wellbeing.