Many people still want to retain the option to work at home at least some of the time, and to adjust their working hours to be outside of the 9 to 5...
Hybrid Office Strategies for Financial Services and Banking
The key questions facing the financial services sector boil down to enabling flexibility for hybrid work, without sacrificing productivity or security.
#cybersecurity #fintech #phishing
Hybrid work comes with its own unique considerations for financial institutions: how will confidential information be shared securely? How does workflow continue efficiently? The key questions facing the financial services sector boil down to enabling flexibility for hybrid work, without sacrificing productivity or security. Answering these questions well could have major benefits for companies in banking and finance and is already providing those benefits to companies that have made the shift.
Embracing Hybrid Work: Cultural Challenges
For the financial sector, transitioning to hybrid work has unique challenges. It’s historically tended to be a more conservative sector in adapting to workplace innovation, and not all industry leaders have been supportive of offering more flexible options for employees as the pandemic subsides—even as employees ask for hybrid or remote options in increasing numbers.
Workloads are heavy and hours are long in the financial sector, and some execs worry that productivity will suffer without the accountability of a shared physical office. USB Group permanently allowed two-thirds of its employees to continue working in a hybrid model, although an internal memo warned, “hybrid work doesn’t mean that you can work wherever and whenever you want.” Despite these fears, financial institutions are realizing, like other institutions across sectors, that employees are more motivated by work-life balance and flexibility than perhaps ever before. And in response, many financial institutions are offering that flexibility. American Express now offers hybrid options, and 40% of its employees remain fully remote. JP Morgan, Citi Group, and HSBC also publicly announced that they will continue to offer hybrid work schedules to their employees indefinitely.
A survey conducted last year by the technology performance company Riverbed | Aternity found that 96% of leaders in financial services believe that hybrid work environments will help to recruit and retain top talent. In a sector with high burnout rates, offering avenues for work-life balance could provide major benefits.
Financial institutions have a major opportunity to level-up their business with hybrid work by embracing some simple collaboration tools. From task management to videoconferencing, it’s vital that your remote employees can communicate consistently and securely. But it can be time-intensive and expensive to figure out exactly what you need—we suggest you start here:
- Cloud Collaboration Tools
Tools like Slack are important for replacing the ability to pop into somebody’s office to ask a quick question. And tools that enable your team to share and store documents and collaborate on project tasks—tools like Google Docs, SharePoint, Asana, etc.—are becoming increasingly essential for in-person offices as much as for hybrid or remote ones. These tools further save time, minimize interruption, and guarantee that your work processes and important documents are easy to find and reference.
- Videoconferencing Tools
In hybrid work environments, it’s important to manage communication with more intention and forethought. Meetings that include a combination of people in the office and on screens can become chaotic. Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are familiar at this point, but some companies are taking it further: HP just released HP Presence, which is customized according to your company size, your meeting room size and specifications, and includes AI-backed audio and video tracking to integrate your remote and in-person employees more easily.
The transition to hybrid work is uniquely complex for financial institutions, considering the sensitive data and regulations for handling it that are involved. Data loss protection must be at the forefront, but this shouldn’t scare financial businesses off considering hybrid models, given their benefits. In any financial services office, it's now essential to train employees to be aware of proper security practices, and the phishing and cyberattack risks that they need to be savvy to.
Beyond that, a strong cybersecurity plan involves running a risk audit, tracking all your endpoint devices, staying up to date on hardware and software maintenance and replacement, and having a response plan in the case of a breach. Partnering with a reliable third party will take the burden off your IT team, and make sure that no security details fall through the cracks.
Synergy’s IT Solutions for Financial Services
When it comes to supporting your transition to a hybrid office, we offer a combination of device management and services that make the switch safe and seamless. With cloud services, we consolidate your infrastructure, improve access for your users, and save money by guiding you to a combination of public and private cloud options that fit your workflow and data storage needs.
We further work with you to create a personalized cybersecurity plan. We’ll train your employees, maintain updates and compliance, offer penetration testing, and help you to prepare for disaster recovery in case of a breach. We work alongside your IT team to help prevent the loss of your valuable business assets and priceless reputation.
Operating from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Ithaca for the last 50+ years, Synergy is Central & Western New York's top Managed Service Provider for small-mid-sized organizations and global institutions alike. We bring together the best enterprise-level IT services, technology, and support to help organizations of all sizes accomplish great things. Contact us today to get the IT solutions you need.