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European study reveals remote working could hinder career prospects of staff across financial services firms

More than half of financial services employers believe remote working will limit promotion and bonus opportunities for staff, but few firms are providing the office set up employees need.
That’s according to the report
the Reluctant Returner: Spotlight on the Financial Services Sector.

The study – which included the results of an in-depth survey of 3000 office workers and 2750 business leaders – revealed that over half (52%) of employers believed remote workers would have limited promotion opportunities. A further 46% indicated those not in the office would be less likely to receive bonuses. This suggests that office workers could have their pay and career prospects impacted if they fail to return to the workplace.

The study did reveal a disparity in views from office workers. Just 39% of employees believed that working remotely would impact their chance of promotion, 35% believed bonuses would be hit, and 39% suggested that colleagues who work from home would lose out on pay rises.

 This discrepancy between employee and employer respondents’ views on the potential impact on career prospects does suggest that the widely recorded skills shortages across the sector will be exacerbated if staff are not encouraged back to the workplace.


Staff unimpressed with today’s offices

According to the report from Unispace, while employers may feel that staff need to be in the office to gain access to promotion opportunities, many do not have a workspace that their workers find appealing. Just 16% of financial services employees reported that they were happy with their current workspace.

Of those seeking improvements to their workspace, 23% revealed they wanted more private spaces, 22% were keen for greater access to outdoor spaces, and 21% suggested more amenities would improve the office.


Lawrence Mohiuddine, CEO EMEA at Unispace, commented:

“There’s a concerning disparity between employers and staff when it comes to views on how remote working will impact career progression and remuneration opportunities for financial services professionals. However, what is certainly a stand out point from the study is that firms are potentially overlooking the fact that the workspaces they have available are not appealing to their staff in the modern world of work.

“The fact that just 16% of staff in the sector are happy with their workplace shows that the office itself is hindering a return to the workplace for some. What’s needed in an environment where skills-shortages are rife, is a rethink of how spaces are used – including providing staff with elements that they have come to expect while working remotely, such as areas for private conversations.”