What do remote first companies offer employees?

Some employers are finding their demands for office attendance are often being ignored in favour for a remote-first approach

Since the pandemic, the proportion of the working population hybrid working has risen to 24 per cent and now most of these are working remote-first.   

Remote first means the default being working from home, as opposed to coming into the office, even for just two or three days a week.  

Indeed, according to a February 2022 ONS survey, the most common hybrid working pattern which workers planned to use going forward was working mostly from home, with 42 per cent favouring this approach. 

The proportion who planned to return to their place of work permanently, meanwhile, fell from 11 per cent in April 2021 to 8 per cent in February 2022. 

>See also: Tooling up for hybrid 

Now, employers in financial institutions who want to see more office attendance are finding themselves being ignored, a survey suggests.  

The study by non-profit organisation Women in Banking and London School of Economics revealed that while some C-suite level executives were asking for employees to come into the office a set number of times a week, they were in practice being ignored, with managers favouring a remote-first model to manage their operations. 

Report author Dr Grace Lordan, director of The Inclusion Initiative at LSE, says firms which adopt a remote first approach, expecting their workers to be in the office only to collaborate or fulfil operational needs, are those which can attract and retain the most diverse talent – particularly women.  

The study also found staff wanted more flexible working and that, crucially, it was just as or more productive on a team level.  

The survey was based on interviews with 100 employees in banking, asset management, professional services, fintech and insurance at different seniority levels.  

Yolanda Blavo, behavioural science research officer at The Inclusion Initiative at LSE and co-author of the report, said: “Our work suggests that leaders should trust their employees and create an environment where employees can openly share their ideas or concerns without fear of ostracisation or backlash.” 

“Firms that demand their employees are in the office for no reason will lose out on diverse talent pools. These demands are also ego driven rather than having the best interests of the business in mind.”   

More on remote working 

Is the new office jargon a sign that hybrid workers feel disconnected? 

Securing your business in the hybrid workplace 
 

Dom Walbanke

Dom Walbanke

Dom is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various lifestyle...