A quarter of City employees do not want a return to the office after Covid

One in four city employees want to continue working from home full time after the Covid-19 crisis, according to an Accenture survey.

The consulting firm surveyed 1,406 UK-based workers in banking, capital markets and insurance industries in mid-June 2021, and found that 24% would prefer to work entirely from home once a full return to the office is possible after the pandemic.

More than a third, or 39% of those polled, said they were willing to forgo compensation to allow them to work entirely remotely in the future.

The results come as the UK government prepares to lift its remaining Covid-19 restrictions, including advice on working from home, for English residents on July 19.

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London has consistently lagged behind other major European cities when it comes to returning to work in person, with more people working from home during the pandemic in the English capital than many peers on the continent. Businesses in the city have also been slower to get their employees back to work.

In recent months, several large UK financial services firms have said they will implement a form of hybrid work, where employees will split their time between office and home once rules allow employees to return to work. their place of work. U.S. banks, however, have been more blatant in their efforts to encourage employees to abandon work-from-home setups, with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley all calling for a return after an extended period of remote work.

About 70% of Accenture survey respondents said introducing flexible work hours would help them adjust to working life after the pandemic, while 69% of survey participants said they would prefer to work only two days a week or less in the office. in the future.

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Laura O’Sullivan, head of UK and Ireland banking strategy at Accenture, said the survey results indicated “loud and clear that the majority of employees at all levels want the pre-pandemic routine belongs to the past ”.

“The focus should be not only on where employees do their jobs, but how they do their job, ”she said. “It’s about making people productive wherever they are.

“We are only at the beginning of the changes that will be needed in tools, leadership behaviors and employee experience to make these new ways of working a long-term solution for successful teams,” he said. she adds. “This is a great opportunity to reinvent the employee experience. “

Companies that do not adequately meet the needs of employees after the pandemic could face a staff exodus, according to research from Accenture.

One in four, or 27% of those surveyed, felt that the additional pressure of Covid-19 had not been taken into account by their employer, while a third, or 34%, said they had considered or are considering quit their current business, the board said.

Meanwhile, around one in 10 respondents, or 13%, said they had considered quitting or did not intend to fully return to the financial services industry, with stress and lack of work balance. / personal life being cited as motivating factors behind their decision.

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Lucy McNulty

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