The post-pandemic managerial conundrum – framing the narrative

Rolling the dice between soft and hard policy-making

The global financial services industry, with Hong Kong and China being notable exceptions, has entered a post-pandemic phase with its executive struggling to understand what the likely outcome will be to the great social experiment of our time. This experiment is testing and will define the legacy of the pandemic regarding how working practices are determined.

Intuitively the executive mostly holds a belief that having staff in the office stops cultural erosion, enhances camaraderie and morale, and maintains and increases productivity. Many say you can’t argue against this summary, although it is conversely as difficult to articulate a clear argument for it. The challenge is how to get the narrative right to ensure new working arrangements are not detrimental to these pillars of corporate success and that the narrative is understood, embraced, and entices employees back to the office. Importantly this return needs to be because they wish to be there, understand the benefit to themselves and the company and feel empowered and valued in doing so.

The evolution of technologies enabled working from home to be enacted with ease and statistics suggest staff productivity was largely up throughout the home working phases of the pandemic. These two points, to some, are sufficient evidence to support policies moving forward that will allow differing levels of flexibility in working models. Hybrid working is now a staffing expectation and demand, a seismic change when you consider before March 2020 the possibility of any flexibility for most staff to work from home would have been a fleeting moment of hope.

What is thought-provoking is that the seat of power and influence on policy-making and how robust companies are in their enforcement is being dictated by a shift in the balance of power from employer to employee. Many companies are openly acknowledging they have a hard, albeit small, cohort of staff that simply refuse to come back to the office, and they are mostly accepting this group’s self-made policy adoption as if to say it’s a problem that can be addressed further down the road and is not a burning bridge momentarily. A high percentage of staff are seeking and expect to make permanent the practice of flexibility and the ability to largely choose where they work.

NYC Investment Banking Sector Return to Office Policies

NYC Investment Banking Sector Return to Office Policies

Data from 2022 Surveys The office entry policy towards fully vaccinated staff is consistent, with open access to all. Limited testing is required in some cases, where a vaccinated employee has been absent from the office for a period of time and/or has been abroad....

Global Asset Management Community Return to Office Policies

Global Asset Management Community Return to Office Policies

Data from 2022 Surveys Foreword: 2022 - Covid19, the pandemic and RTO “normality and a return to office is far from guaranteed for many” On 22nd November 2022 it will be 974 days since New York (March 22 at 8 PM) and London (March 23rd at 1 pm) first went into...

Striving for Authentic Leadership

Striving for Authentic Leadership

Interview by Gwen Wilcox, COO, Armstrong Wolfe Striving for authentic leadership Peter Zorn Talent & Transformation, IBM “The outcome of this journey, so far, has truly delivered a culture of continuous learning, high employee engagement, increased retention, and...

OLI – The AI Powered Operational Loss Intelligence Solution

OLI – The AI Powered Operational Loss Intelligence Solution

Interview by Gwen Wilcox, COO, Armstrong Wolfe OLI - The AI Powered Operational Loss Intelligence Solution Shelly Liposky Managing Director & Global Head of Business Risk and Solutions, Bank of Montreal AI phenomenon and brainchild of OLI, BMO’s Operational Loss...

An investigation into technological market competition

An investigation into technological market competition

“Competition is the most promising means to achieve and secure prosperity. It alone enables people in their role of consumer to gain from economic progress. It ensures that all advantages which result from higher productivity may eventually be enjoyed.”Ludwig Erhard...

Meeting the leadership challenge presented by a dislocated workforce

Meeting the leadership challenge presented by a dislocated workforce

Surviving. Thriving. Resetting Meeting the leadership challenge presented by a dislocated workforce In its simplest form leadership is a practical skill encompassing the ability of an individual or organization to “lead” or guide other individuals, teams, or entire...

Empower Your Hybrid Workforce

Empower Your Hybrid Workforce

Automatically measure and predict behaviour and embed personalised actions into workflows to improve behaviour Since March 2020 Armstrong Wolfe has supported the global COO community as the COO was tasked to manage the differing phases of the pandemic. Along this...

Download Asset Management International COO Community Membership Brochure

Download Global Markets International COO Community Membership Brochure