Hybrid Workplaces: Are They Now Viable for Financial Services?

by | 25 Jun 2024

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In recent years, the concept of hybrid working has gained significant traction, especially in the financial services sector. At Godfrey Group, we’ve noted a considerable increase in the demand for hybrid work models, driven by both employee preferences and evolving business needs.

But the question remains: are hybrid workplaces truly viable for financial services? With the evolving needs of the workforce and the undeniable benefits of flexibility, we’re here to examine how hybrid work models can be effectively implemented to balance productivity, culture, and innovation.

What is a Hybrid Workplace?

A hybrid workplace combines remote and in-office work, allowing employees the flexibility to choose where they work from based on their tasks, roles, and personal preferences. This model has become particularly relevant post-COVID-19, as businesses and employees alike have experienced the benefits and challenges of remote work.

Why Are Hybrid Workplaces Becoming More Common?

The pandemic has proven that remote work is not only possible but can be highly effective. Many employees have grown accustomed to the flexibility of working from home and are now seeking employers who offer this option. Our experience at Godfrey Group shows that businesses not offering some level of flexibility are at a significant disadvantage when attracting top talent.

The return to office in Australia is increasing, with office attendance reaching 71% of 2019 levels in 2023, up from 54% in the prior period. Despite this, a significant portion of companies are either adopting or planning to adopt permanent hybrid models. A survey of CEOs in ten markets revealed that 63% of companies operate in a hybrid model, while only 28% have returned to the office full-time.

Benefits of a Hybrid Workplace

1. Increased Flexibility

Hybrid working allows employees to balance their personal and professional lives more effectively. From what we’ve been noticing, this flexibility can lead to higher job satisfaction and productivity. Employees can save up to three hours on travel time per day, often dedicating this saved time to work, resulting in increased efficiency.

2. Broader Talent Pool

Offering hybrid work can significantly broaden the available talent pool. Companies that resist this shift may find themselves at a disadvantage, struggling to attract and retain skilled professionals.

3. Cost Savings

Both employers and employees can benefit financially from hybrid work models. Employers can reduce overhead costs associated with maintaining large office spaces, while employees save on commuting expenses.

Downsides of Hybrid Working

1. Maintaining Culture

One of the primary challenges of hybrid working is maintaining a cohesive company culture. Without regular face-to-face interactions, it can be difficult to foster a sense of community and teamwork.

2. Ensuring Productivity

Trust is crucial in a hybrid work environment. Employers need to trust that their employees will remain productive outside the traditional office setting. This requires clear communication, defined expectations, and reliable performance metrics.

3. Technology and Security

Implementing and managing the necessary technology for hybrid work can be complex and costly. On top of that, ensuring data security and compliance with industry regulations is a significant concern.

How Hybrid Work Models Can Be Better for Business

Hybrid work models can lead to enhanced employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, and improved operational efficiency. Companies that embrace hybrid working can foster innovation and collaboration by leveraging diverse perspectives from employees working in different environments.

Successful Implementation in Financial Services

Several financial services companies have successfully adopted hybrid work models. Macquarie Bank, NAB, ANZ, Xero, and more companies have developed comprehensive work-from-home policies, ensuring employees have the necessary tools and support to work effectively from any location.

Suitable Hybrid Finance Roles

Not all roles are equally suited for hybrid working. In the financial services sector, roles such as financial analysts, accountants, and customer service representatives are particularly well-suited for hybrid models. These roles often involve tasks that can be performed independently and do not require constant physical presence in the office.

Starting with a Hybrid Model

To successfully implement a hybrid work model, companies must develop clear, documented policies—the same goes for implementing the popular 4-day work week model. These policies should outline expectations for remote and in-office work, ensuring employees understand when they need to be present in the office, such as for client meetings or team collaborations.

Example Policy Components:
  • Clear communication channels and tools
  • Regular check-ins and team meetings
  • Defined performance metrics
  • Support for remote work technology and security

Embrace Hybrid Work: The Future of Financial Services

Hybrid work models are not just a trend—they are here to stay. At Godfrey Group, we believe that embracing hybrid working can provide significant advantages for both employers and employees in the financial services sector. By offering flexibility, businesses can attract top talent, improve productivity, and maintain a vibrant company culture.

Ready to explore hybrid work solutions for your team? Contact us on 02 8004 9350 to discuss your needs.



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