Plan for Long-Term Working from Home
FIS' survey on readiness showed almost twice as many financial firms will allow long-term remote work, compared to just three months ago. The firms that expected to allow long-term remote working jumped from 35% in June to 62% in September.
As part of its 2020 readiness report, FIS surveyed 250 executives in June and September and found companies' attitudes shifted strikingly over the months: while companies were uncertain about remote working back in June, they became much more likely to adopt it as a long-term strategy according to September's survey.
Furthermore, only 21% of all respondents said they would bring employees back as soon as they can, while 67% say they will not require employees to return as soon as it is safe to do so. These findings are in line with BofA Securities' survey on back-to-work plans among U.S. companies, which showed that the financial sector is more likely to wait to return to "normal" work protocols.
The main reasons listed by the firms to allow remote working are cost savings, attracting employees and productivity gains. In particular, 68% of the largest companies said they are likely to use remote working as an opportunity to reduce their physical footprint. Moreover, the firms that are planning to expand geographically fell from 45% to 34% in September.
The shift to remote working has numerous repercussions, and firms are starting to take action. As companies are facing pressures on capital expenditure and low interest rates, they are prioritizing other areas for development. FIS noted in particular that 47% of buy-side firms said they prioritize investment in core operations upgrades and resilience measures, whereas 66% of sell-side companies prioritized cyber-security tools.
FIS concluded that, even with the announcement of a vaccine, changes in working culture are permanent. The pandemic pointed out the risks of firm-owned technology and infrastructure, managed services and cloud are more important and long-term remote working has also made gains.
Source: S&P Global Market Intelligence