There has been quite some debate on the productivity of employees when working from home or working from an office each day. Since lockdown measures forced the working population to work from home, what we now class as the 'norm' for a facetime working culture has changed dramatically.
The traditional view that all members of a workforce should be in the office every day had not been questioned as it seemed obvious that this was the nature of having a job. Within the context of the financial services industry, this has certainly always been the case. The industry was forced into what was initially an unwelcome change, especially from a management perspective as personal and professional lifestyles were unwillingly merged. Worry that productivity would drop, and frustration would increase was a common thought. However, since this dynamic became the new normal, it is apparent that strict face time culture has somewhat dissipated.
The now infamous interview with Mary Callahan Erdoes of JPMorgan in 2021 highlighted the hard-edged view that working culture in financial services was to be centred around facetime culture for individuals to be successful in their position. It is undeniable that in person interaction is beneficial for working relationships, personal, and professional development. However, Covid-19 has shown us that Mary Callahan’s view may not be inducive to the best employee welfare, which, incidentally, has been said to have a direct link to productivity. Overall, firms have, therefore, adopted a hybrid working environment with working from home at least one day a week becoming market standard.
For both employee satisfaction and market performance to thrive, companies are still debating what is the best work-life balance. Since working from the office and working from home has shifted so dramatically over recent years, it has become clear that traditional corporate views have been trumped by a hybrid working structure.
Productivity, creativity, and innovation don’t depend on where things get done—they depend on company culture and the personal motivations and incentives that drive behavior.