Key sector is ready to embrace flexible working

Financial services can be a key sector in driving change. New research from Deloitte shows the talent there has new expectations post pandemic

Flexible Working


A key sector of the economy is ready to embrace flexible working. More than half of all employees in financial services now want alternative working patterns. That means flexible hours or choosing where to work from. And that matters because financial services are often thought leaders when it comes to changes in workplace culture.

According to the Deloitte Talent in Financial services survey 54 per cent of employees in the sector want more flexibility. Half want the freedom to work where they want within the UK. That raises questions about the future of city centres and the prospects for towns. A quarter want to go further. They want their employer to enable them to work outside of the UK, post-pandemic.


However the survey of 2000 people showed that embracing flexibility is not straightforward for employers. A third of employees working in financial services felt that their sense of belonging to their team and organisation decreased during the pandemic, largely due to the lack of face-to-face interactions.

More than a third (34%) of respondents felt that their relationships with colleagues are less deep and meaningful as a result of remote working. But almost half (45%) felt their sense of autonomy had increased.

The research revealed that two in three found their organisation’s culture was more supportive of the new ways of working during the pandemic. Among those working in investment banking, this proportion increased to almost three quarters (74%). Which perhaps says more about previous working practices and attitudes and the extent of the change in that sector.

Almost half (48%) of those working in financial services think that ‘globalised talent’ – i.e. hiring people no matter where they are based – could become a reality.


Payal Vasudeva, financial services future of work partner at Deloitte, said: “Changes to how people work need to be reinforced by meaningful employee experiences. This could be a sense of belonging, purpose or greater flexibility in the hours they work or where they work from. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

“The new world of work is not about presenteeism but empowerment. Employees should be able to make some choices in how and where they work that make them their most productive.”

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