Remote working to continue as fifth of finance hiring shifts to at-home jobs

Working from home appears to be here to stay, as the UK’s finance firms turn to flexible staffing strategies for future jobs.

Nearly a fifth of all finance jobs posted in the UK in the first two weeks of April were for remote positions, data collection by legal services firm Wright Hassall found.

Restrictions on social distancing and travel are slowly being lifted across England, but a government timeline for the return to work has yet to be established. Instead, companies are adopting flexible working arrangements to keep staff safe while reopening physical office spaces.

The financial services sector was fourth in the country, at 19.96%, for the fastest growing industries adapting to the demand for remote working to continue as lockdown eases, Wright Hassall said. 

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The IT sector had the highest percentage of current job listings that were either remote-only or partly remote, at 40.09%. Meanwhile, social media and digital marketing came in second at 32.32%, and content creation in third at 31.83%.

Jobs that often require an on-site presence made up the bottom of the list. Construction came in ninth with only 2.96% of jobs listed as remote-first, while real estate was in eight place at 5.81%.

“The pandemic has changed the way many of us work, and it is likely that these changes will remain in place for quite some time,” said Wright Hassall on 21 April. 

“Despite Sunak’s warning that businesses who don’t return to their offices will face losing staff, many businesses are opting to work entirely remotely.”

HSBC recently opted to scrap the entire executive floor of its Canary Wharf headquarters, turning the space into meeting rooms and asking senior executives to hot-desk on an open-plan floor two storeys below.

READHSBC scraps executive floor in Canary Wharf as part of flexible working push

In the City specifically, there was a 70% quarter-on-quarter increase in jobs available in the first three months of the year, according to recruitment firm Morgan McKinley’s quarterly London employment monitor.

However, leasing activity for office space in central London was down 55% in the first three months of 2021, data from BNP Paribas Real Estate showed, compared to the same period a year earlier.

In the City of London, however, office take-up rose 93% on the previous quarter to 700,000 square feet. Major deals from the quarter included the 245,000-sq ft lease of 1 Leadenhall by law firm Latham & Watkins. 

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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