Monday 5 July 2021 12:01 am

One-in-four UK financial services workers want to work from home full-time, says new survey

Almost one-in-four of the UK’s financial services workforce wants to work at home permanently post-pandemic, according to a new survey from Accenture.

The survey found 24 per cent of the country’s 1m financial services workers “would prefer to work entirely from home once a full return to office is possible”, while 69 per cent said they wanted to work two days or less in the office.

Just 8 per cent of respondents said they wanted to go back to five days a week in the office when the working from home advice and social distancing restrictions are dropped.

Multiple media outlets today reported that the government is set to bin social distancing and face mask rules from 19 July as England moves onto the next stage of its roadmap.

This should pave the way for work from home instructions to be dropped and see a greater number of people returning to central London.

Footfall in central London has slowly increased since the winter lockdown was eased.

Transport for London (TfL) figures from last month show Tube passengers in the City of London and Canary Wharf were between one-third and half of pre-Covid levels.

Laura O’Sullivan, UK and Ireland banking strategy lead at Accenture, said: “As financial services firms develop their future working from home policies, the findings of this research signal loud and clear that the majority of employees at all levels want the pre-pandemic routine to be a thing of the past.

“With such support for a more flexible approach, the focus needs to move not only to where employees are doing their work, but how they are doing their work. It’s about making employees productive wherever they are.

“As such, there is a big opportunity to reinvent physical workspaces, complemented by digital environments, to drive more collaboration and support workforce culture post-pandemic.”

There has been growing support from UK business advocacy groups for a more flexible approach post-pandemic.

The British Chambers of Commerce has called for “businesses to have access to clear guidance, information and best practice resources” to help them “embrace the broadest range of remote, workplace and flexible working options as we emerge from the pandemic”.