Hybrid working offered by 87% of Scots finance firms

Edinburgh's central financial district

Hybrid working arrangements are now offered by 87% of employers in Scotland’s financial and professional
services industry, up from 46% before the pandemic.

That’s according to a report by Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) and international law firm CMS.

The report found that 36% of employers do not require staff to attend the office on a set number of days, while 36% required staff to be in at least three days per week.

It found 81% of employers said job applicants ask about hybrid working approach at the first stage interview and 77% of employers have seen an increase in the number of applicants from outside of their usual catchment areas.

Scottish Financial Enterprise said the research hopes to spark an industry-wide conversation “to help firms develop long-term policies that can be applied consistently, fairly and effectively across their workforces.”

The report, titled Ways of Working: The Results, surveyed 46 companies from across SFE’s membership ranging from banking to wealth management to professional services.

It found that that while hybrid working has become the norm since the pandemic, no dominant model has emerged yet on how best to implement hybrid practices.

CMS partner Gillian MacLellan said: “These results reinforce that we are at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to the hybrid transition.

“While hybrid has become standard practice, most businesses still lack clarity around how best to make it work in the long-term.

“Many businesses are focused on the everyday challenges, such as reconfiguring office space and agreeing an approach on the number of days employees should attend the office.

“Reaching the next stage will likely require businesses to identify balanced and mutually beneficial long-term solutions that harness the power of homes, offices, people and technology.”

Scottish Financial Enterprise CEO Sandy Begbie said: “The growth of homeworking since the pandemic has deepened and widened an ongoing conversation on aspects of working culture and patterns, and created a real opportunity to improve practices and introduce more flexible approaches to support the needs of individual

“While we accepted the need for enforced homeworking in the early days of the pandemic, the ongoing approach to hybrid working must be industry-led and both the Scottish and UK governments should trust businesses to do the right thing.

“There is no one size fits all and businesses will need to find tailored solutions that reflect the diversity of people’s working preferences and requirements.

“The aim of this report is to kickstart some useful knowledge-sharing which can help to drive this process forward and SFE will be working with our members over the year ahead to support best practice that can
enable this ambition.”