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Bankers Discover They Like Working From Home

June 1st, 2020

Forced to work from home because of the global coronavirus pandemic, banking professionals are warming to the practice and discovering they can be even more productive at home than in the office.

That’s a dramatic reversal from what they were thinking shortly after they first began working remotely.

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In April, when Deutsche Bank first surveyed financial professionals, 47% said once the pandemic subsided they would work from home only when they had to. In the latest survey, conducted two weeks ago, only 31% expressed that attitude. Now, 63% said they plan on working from home at least one or two days a week.

In the April survey, 36% said they intend to work from home once or twice a week. Another 11% said they intended to work remotely three or more days a week.

What’s behind the change in attitude? The Deutsche Bank survey reported by eFinancialCareers, apparently didn’t probe that deeply. However, a question about productivity suggests at least part of the reason is that almost 4-in-10 respondents are getting more work done at home than they did in the office.

In April, as workers were still settling in to the new routine, 29% said they were more productive. In the May survey, 37% claimed greater productivity. Counting those who now say there’s no change in their productivity, then 69% of finance professionals say they are as productive or more so working from home.

Interestingly, the more senior the professional, the more likely they are to claim an increase in productivity. A chart in the eFinancialCareers report shows finance professionals over 45 reporting they are more productive by 10 percentage points or more compared to their younger colleagues.

Hinting that working remotely may become more the rule than the exception for Deutsche Bank employees, CEO Christian Sewing told shareholders during the firm’s annual meeting that it is a way to save money.

"If 60% of employees worldwide can work away from their offices and still deliver excellent service to our clients, then of course we have to ask ourselves: can we give our staff additional flexibility to work from home if they want to?" Sewing said in his speech to shareholders. "And if that’s the case, do we need quite so many offices in expensive urban centers?"

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