Canada’s wealth professionals have mixed views of home working

Despite widespread adoption of tools and technology, more than half of financial services workers think team relationships have suffered

Canada’s wealth professionals have mixed views of home working
Steve Randall

Despite many people being keen to embrace remote or hybrid working models, there are some downsides for financial services teams.

This has been highlighted in a new report from CDW Canada, which looked at how various sectors have fared during the pandemic and how they have embraced technology and tools for team collaboration.

While most respondents (74%) said that the use of digital workplace tools had empowered them during the pandemic, up from 58% pre-COVID, 44% of employees felt their relationships with colleagues have suffered from the pandemic.

The share of financial services workers who reported feeling that their team relationships were negatively impacted by the pandemic (56%) was the highest among respondents apart from those in the public sector.  

However, the financial services sector was the leader for supporting flexible working arrangements – 80% of respondents from the sector said so – and 94% said that their organization highly valued implementing collaboration tools and technology to improve the employee experience.

Productivity and engagement have been enhanced by the implantation of video meeting platforms such as Zoom and Teams and more than 9 in 10 of respondents from financial services said this was integral to colleague relationships, the highest of any sector.

Sun Life is one of the largest Canadian financial services firms to set out a clear vision of how it sees the future of working for its 12,000 employees.

"The future of work at Sun Life is about flexibility and choice, empowering people to optimize their work and personal priorities," said Kevin Strain, president and incoming CEO of Sun Life.

Work comforts

The surge in work-from-home has turned the concept of home comforts around, and now employers are looking at home to bring ‘work comforts’ to remote teams.

The survey found that most employers had provided their teams with tools and technology to help them do their jobs effectively and make up for home office shortcomings.

These provisions include computers, software and subscriptions, webcams, desks, and chairs.

CDW says that it will be important going forward that firms provide the necessary support to ensure that remote workers feel productive, connected, and empowered to maintain business continuity.