We might have thought that changing working habits would have had more of an impact on working culture after the initial lockdown period than appears to have been the case. Most respondents (71%) of the FSCB Survey undertaken in May 2021 were still working from home, which was almost the same proportion (72%) as worked from home during the 3-month lockdown period from March 2020.
Employees who work in retail were the least likely to work from home (57%) compared to those in Functions (90%), Commercial Banking (88%) and Investment Banking (63%), and were most likely to work in an onsite work location (35%). Investment Banking employees were most likely to work in a roughly equal split arrangement between home and an onsite work location (19%). This means that any “new working models” aren’t affecting all employees equally and there may be resulting sensitivities around some of the prevailing narratives around changing ways of working.
There were only small differences in responses between those working from home and those working in on-site work locations across the core 36 survey questions when controlling for other demographic factors (for example, ethnicity, gender, age, tenure etc). There were some small statistically significant differences where those working on-site were slightly more positive in their responses to questions around dealing with issues before they become major problems; seeing processes and practices as a barrier to continuous improvement and being responsive to customer feedback. This is similar to responses to our 2020 Survey: overall, working arrangement does not seem to have much of an effect on perceptions of culture.
In addition to the core survey questions, the 2021 FSCB Survey asked employees the extent to which they agreed with the following statements: “I feel accepted by my colleagues at work; I feel excluded by my colleagues at work; I worry that the people I interact with at work may draw conclusions about my ability based on stereotypes about my identity or background; I feel included in the informal networks that matter for my career. Controlling for other demographic factors, there were no statistically significant differences in these additional questions across different working arrangements. Where you work does not seem to predict how included you are at work, when other demographic characteristics are controlled for. How this will change as the proportion (and make-up) of employees working from home changes remains to be seen.
In our next blog we will look at the positive and negative impacts of changes to ways of working.