Half of employees in the UK's financial services sector want to continue working from home for at least part of the week once the COVID-19 pandemic passes, KPMG research has found.
After surveying over 1,500 financial services workers, the researchers also found that one-quarter want a permanent switch to home working after the crisis, and that one in 10 will look to relocate.
This is consistent across age groups, although workers aged 31-45 are the most driven to work more flexibly, on 53%, while employees under 30 are the keenest to work from home permanently, on 28%.
“It is important to note that only half of the workforce want to continue working this way, and that clear division is important,” said Mel Newton, head of Financial Services People Consulting at KPMG UK.
“It demonstrates that flexibility is more than just allowing people to work from home on the occasional Friday – what the future workforce wants is personal choice.”
Although 78% of workers surveyed said they’ve been able to work effectively from home during the pandemic, 30% said they need more digital expertise, while only a quarter have been offered digital training by their employers.
Furthermore, 21% said that they are relying on different management and leadership skills while working remotely, yet only 17% have been offered training on it.
With 12% of workers saying their employer had not done anything to equip them for the changing circumstances, it's possible that upskilling opportunities may not have increased proportionally to bridge what could be a growing skills gap.
“As we have experienced a huge leap forwards in digitisation and remote working, the need to upskill our employees in digital and technological expertise is more important than ever,” said Claire Tunley, CEO at Financial Services Skills Commission, which co-produced the research.
“Increased investment in our employees’ future skills, alongside a sophisticated remote and flexible working offer, will help the UK financial services firms address the skills crisis the sector has been facing, attract talent, and position it for a successful future.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings