In the media

Hybrid working causes 'at least as much stress' as old office-only model

By Chloe Leung

FT Ignites

31 May 2022

PA’s Chris Manning, people and change expert, and Amy Finn, people and talent expert, comment on the hybrid working model in an article in FT Ignites, which looks at how fund professionals are being driven to burnout based on the new way of working.

The article explains that the new hybrid working model has blurred boundaries between work life and personal live and that improvements to this new form of working need to be made.

Commenting on this, Chris says that “employers need to scrap the hybrid working approaches they adopted in haste at the start of the pandemic to create new models.”

He adds that asset managers should consider new working models that aim to protect employees, focusing on wellness and personalisation.

Chris explains that data needs to play a key role in gathering insights into productivity and engagement behaviours to better understand work patterns to shape policies. He says: “data can be interrogated to provide informed leadership decisions on how to best react to employee needs in new hybrid working operating models.”

Discussing potential new models for working arrangements, Chris talks about the advantages of “activity-based working” which is a hybrid working model where employees choose from a variety of settings based on the nature of the tasks that need to be carried out.

In this alternative model, Chris explains that employees have more flexibility on where and when tasks are carried out, as long as the work gets done. “This approach ensures that employees can be the optimal version of themselves,” says Chris.

Amy Finn contributes to this conversation, saying that many employees struggle to create virtual boundaries that separate work and personal lives.

The article explains that research shows that 70% of financial professionals work overtime at least once or several times a week.

To this, Amy adds: “Virtual meetings have replaced informal chats – meaning people’s days are full of back-to-back sessions with little room for creativity.”

Amy goes on to say that levels of presenteeism are higher among those who work at home compared to those who work in the office with many sick employees opting to continue working from home.

Amy explains: “This is an area organisations need to hone in on and provide extra support and guidance, and help their manager to support their teams effectively.”

The article goes on to explain that results gathered from a survey show that 62% of respondents want to leave their jobs due to work pressures.

Commenting on these pressures, she says financial services “must urgently address their employee experience” to retain its employees and explains that more transparency is required around working patterns that allow employees to thrive.

Amy adds: “Trust plays an important role in this, and leaders need to empower their teams to self-organise and deliver, rather than micro-manage.”

To help ensure that client and customer needs continue to be met, Amy explains that employees should be encouraged to share their working hours and location via email signatures and out-of-offices, to allow for better communication between employees and clients.

Read the article in full here

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