Zooming in on the Future of Work in Financial Services
Traditionally, regulated organizations have had a relationship with their communications data that was primarily focused on risk identification and mitigation. That focus on risk will continue to be essential, but the events of 2020 have expanded the scope of how organizations view and utilize their communications data. This might seem counterintuitive, as every organization went through emergency procedures to equip remote workers, and the subject of risk identification remained front-and-center for everyone facing limited visibility into employee misconduct.
Work is becoming location-agnostic
For some firms, this new paradigm has led to an acceleration of an already-accepted path to digitizing the workplace. For others, it’s been a complete upheaval. Either way, the path toward location-agnostic work for the balance of 2021 and beyond appears to be a given. Consider the following:
- 69% of financial services firms expect to have 60% of their workforce at home at least once per week
- 48% of employees at large firms will remain virtual part-time post-pandemic
- FinServ has the highest potential (i.e., lowest productivity loss) for remote work of any vertical
- Global bank CEO: “We’ve proven we can operate with no footprint”
As Zoom CEO Eric Yuan noted, “I believe the way we work, and live, and learn, and play is very different now. Let's say the pandemic is over tomorrow… I don't think every employee will go back to the office. It's very likely we'll end up with a hybrid.”
Information is driving innovation
Answering the question of why firms are adopting this hybrid work posture is complex. Obviously, there remain many public safety concerns regarding the availability of vaccines, considerations for those with existing health conditions, the safety of office spaces and commute options, and other factors that make returning to the old way of doing things a non-starter.
However, the past year without conference rooms, water coolers and client meetings at our favorite steakhouses offer a different explanation: we were still able to get stuff done. Whether in the form of improved cycle times, reduction in email volume or simply enabling a faster response to their clients — investments in collaboration and conferencing tools bore fruit.
In fact, early movers on digital communications and collaboration platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack had already experienced positive business outcomes prior to the pandemic. Let’s look at the data:
- According to a Forrester study commissioned by Microsoft, Teams users saved up to 8 hours per user, per week, by having communications and collaboration features in one platform, resulting in a 17.7% improvement in time-to-decision and a 3-year total savings of over $450K
- A separate Forrester Study, “The Total Economic Impact of Slack for Technical Teams” showed a 338% return on investment
Zoom is embedded in the workplace
Nowhere is the correlation between collaboration technology and productivity clearer than in the case of Zoom. The conferencing platform’s daily meeting participants in December 2019 averaged around 10 million. By April 2020, just four months later, that number had grown to more than 300 million — a whopping 2,900% increase.
The simple, intuitive access of Zoom ignited demand from users and led organizations to pressure Zoom to prioritize and address security exposures. Within a span of six months, Zoom became ubiquitous; the Kleenex of business video conferencing. Massive market acceptance has further accelerated the path of Zoom’s innovation, with existing meeting, chat, and video capabilities now being complemented by collaboration-enabled conference rooms, Zoom phone, and a quickly expanding app marketplace ecosystem.
Equipping financial services work teams to get their job done regardless of location is turning organizations’ relationship with data upside down: from centralized control over a limited set of tools for the purpose of risk mitigation to the common goal of leveraging information for valuable business insights.
Join us for our upcoming webinar on March 23 at 10 a.m. PDT, “Re-imagining the Future of Work in Financial Services,” with Jeff Smith, head of the Zoom Room product team. We’ll discuss the implications of a digital-first workplace, how to mitigate risk and take advantage of increased communications data, and how the Smarsh-Zoom partnership can help drive your business goals. Register here.
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