According to a survey of United States based financial services firms, there was an increase in productivity from remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is including bank onboarding applications, insurance claims, trade processing and capital markets payment related work.
About 42% felt this would transition to less real estate usage in the future, and a majority do not think their workforce will come back to work in full.
The study also found that United States financial services adapted and showed resilience in the immediate response to COVID-19, and are rethinking their long-term workforce, technology and operations strategies. It seems that financial institutions had substantial emergency back up plans before the pandemic struck.
Several operations accelerated its digitization capabilities due to the remote nature of work: In banking, 36% who had onboarding applications for credit cards and loans executed remotely said it was more productive (81% said more or as productive).
However, the survey results stated that productivity for client on boarding for capital markets firms was considered less productive by 33% respondents whereas only 14% said it was more productive. This was the only major area where people surveyed did not think it was either the same or more productive during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Technology functions performed at higher levels. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of CIO respondents said that all application development is being executed by a remote workforce, with 63% for technology innovation. As a result, 29% said application development was more productive (with 87% saying it was more or as productive).
Most executives felt optimistic that these trends would continue. Almost three quarters (71%) of operations and technology executives agreed that remote working is sustainable long-term which will likely mean the industry is forever changed.
Employees do not seem eager to return and go back to the office, with almost four-in-five (77%) of CHROs agreeing that the majority of their employees would like the option to continue working from home or remotely. In fact, 73% of CHROs believe that some portion of their remote workforce will remain permanently remote.
It is likely that at least hybrid work weeks will be mainstream even after the present crisis passes.