For further proof that the "work from home" trend that started during Covid has spoiled employees rotten, about 66% of respondents in a new survey of 700 financial executives working remotely said they would quit their jobs if forced to return to the office 5 days a week.
The revelation came as part of a survey published this week by Deloitte, reported on by Banking Dive.
Among the key revelations in the Deloitte survey were:
Overall survey results indicate that financial services institutions (FSIs) with overly strict in-office mandates could face dual challenges: possibly losing their pipeline of leaders and having difficulty recruiting talent.
Among respondents who still work remotely at least part-time, 66% say they will likely leave their current role if mandated to return to the office five days a week.
Among surveyed caregivers, those who work remotely or have hybrid arrangements are 1.3 times more likely than responding noncaregivers to say they’ll leave their current role if their ability to work remotely was eliminated.
Some FSIs now require their workforce to return to the office three to four days a week. But only 18% of respondents say this would be their ideal arrangement.
While remote working has improved respondents' engagement and well-being, most of those surveyed believe remote work models will put them at a disadvantage. This could erode engagement and commitment levels over time.
Financial services firms face a palpable risk of losing talented women leaders. Almost half of women respondents in senior leadership roles report being likely to leave their current employer over the next year.
More than half of those who responded (52%) admitted that they thought in-office workers were paid more -- it was a tradeoff they were willing to accept. 63% of those responding also thought that in-office workers were promoted more. 60% of those who responded said that they thought employees with caregiver responsibilities, working under the hybrid model, were less likely to be promoted.
But about 75% of men and 67% of women said that hybrid work life allowed them better relationships with their children. 18% of survey respondents said they preferred to work in the office 3 or 4 days a week, and 62% said they thought it would hurt their careers if they came in less.
Neda Shemluck, Deloitte’s U.S. financial services DEI leader, commented: “There’s a perception that employers want people in the office 100% of the time and employees don’t want to be in the office at all, and that’s not true."
Shemluck continued: “The struggle is, how do you still require some in-person connectivity, and yet provide autonomy to team leaders to determine what is best for their teams?”
“If an organization is mandating hybrid for one or two days, there needs to be transparency around the implications to you as an employee or as a team leader if you are tracking differently from that. Right now the challenge is the speculation as to the career impact that will have, without the transparency of long-term implications,” she added. “You have to take small steps and constantly do pulse checks and get real reactions as to what is working, and recognize that you’re going to constantly pivot. We had hundreds of years of working one way; it’s going to take us a long time to get comfortable with this new way of working, and it’s going to be an iterative process.”
Recall, we have been writing about how Wall Street banks have been mandating that their employees come back to the office now that the Covid hysteria has subsided. In March 2023, we wrote about how the era of working from home was drawing to a close. Returning to the office hasn't gone over well everywhere. In Seattle, Amazon employees are protesting returning the office due to "climate change", among other idiotic reasons, we wrote about in June.
We also noted in June that NYC office occupancy had hit 50% for the first time since the Covid crunch.
Kastle Systems, the gold-standard measure of office-occupancy trends via card-swipe data, shows NYC hit 50.5% in the week ending June 7, the highest level in three years but still far from the near 100% occupancy level before the pandemic.
"The milestone came just as the city was engulfed in smoke from Canadian wildfires, briefly becoming the most polluted major city in the world," Bloomberg pointed out.
Reverting to pre-Covid times is impossible. Companies are axing employees while reducing office space. Real estate firm Colliers said office space available for lease in Manhattan climbed to a record high during the first quarter of 2023.