Should Banks and Big Tech still work remotely, or not? The troubles of the post-Covid times begin

The last weeks have been filled with stories about the dissatisfied employees in junior positions at Goldman Sachs. There are at least a few factors that should be considered when speaking of unhappy employees of the Bank. The first one is the demand to work from home, the second is the specificity of the bank, and the third one is the being potentially overworked (we’ve seen the stories about it pretty much since the pandemic started). But it looks like tech companies are managing the post-Covid era planning better than ‘traditional’ banks. Why?

David Salomon from Goldman Sachs has rejected the idea of working from home and accepting it as the ‘new normal’. He got worried about the ‘Connective Tissue’ of his company, and potential losses of the ‘Cultural Capital’. And this is not something that only he is worried about. Other banks have also expressed such concerns.

Behavox shocking report

On the other side, company Behavox has issued a report, where they identified some of the instances occurring in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. They surveyed thousands of banks’ employees, and their findings are as following:

  • 13% of employees received racist jokes, 12% received sexist jokes, and 12% received other inappropriate comments,
  • 9% of employees experienced angry outbursts on video calls, with 49% of those resulting in the termination of the call (in the United States),
  • nearly half of the employees witnessed inappropriate behavior while on the video conference meeting.

 Behavox’s CEO and Founder, Erkin Adylov stressed how there is a tight connection between the roles of HR staff, CEOs, and the productivity of the whole business, as well as the corporate cultures in the company. Their report is called the ‘reality check’ for C-suites and HR teams. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the workforces are certainly testing their ability to manage risks, sustain the continuity of business, and protect the staff’s morale. Their findings reveal how many threats and risks there are for employees, no matter if they work remotely, or not. This ultimately proves that a lot needs to be done to ensure people’s safe work environment.

How many people actually rely on banks’ decisions whether they will work remotely or not?

The studies show that more than 1 million people living in the United Kingdom work in the sector of financial services. Yet, the total number of employees, who will have to work things out once the Covid-19 dust settles, will reach tens of millions.

And the decisions of the employers will of course influence their employees’ lives incredibly. Especially, as there is no pattern, and we are yet to see what each and every individual company decides on. For example, Nationwide has already announced that they will introduce the policy called ‘work anywhere’. This was the response for over 4,500 voices from their employees, that they’d rather work from home.

But different banks have different challenges to tackle. In Autumn, the Japanese Central Bank required their traders to be physically in their offices during the trade hours. The decision wasn’t made because of somebody’s cruelty, but because the investment sector holds too much of a risk to be completely ‘freed’.

Providing technological solutions for bank workers is another problem for the institutions. The monitoring required to keep on working in some of the sectors is incomparable with others, and Big Tech is actually the one requiring the least of it. The costs of Surveillance Technology are high as well (which shouldn’t be surprising, as we’re still getting accustomed to the solutions it introduces). So every employer now has to find a sound balance between monitoring costs, and the safety of the employees. It’s not an easy task, that’s for sure.

To read a full, original story about the topic of remote working in the finance sector, please access the original piece published by Andy Samu on the Disruption Banking page: