Flexible Working In Payments: A Positive Outlook

21 May 2020 By Ben Swift

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May 2020 Update: In light of Covid-19, this article has - understandably - become one of our most viewed blogs. Working from home has become a necessity for huge numbers of payments professionals. Understandably, many in payments are seeking ways to keep the lifestyle benefits they've discovered. Could flexible working improve the outlook for both for payments employers and professionals?

The payments industry is changing rapidly. At the same time, it’s combatting a growing skills shortage. To attract and retain talent, payments companies need to offer more compelling benefits and incentives. We take a look at the role flexible working plays in that process.

The competitive nature of the payments industry means businesses are fighting to recruit and retain skilled, knowledgeable employees. With startups springing up regularly and companies from other sectors muscling in on the payments talent pool, payments businesses need to find what motivates candidates and adapt accordingly. While career progression and financial incentives are obvious options, flexible working has become a valued practice for many people with busy lives.

The Global Workspace Survey from the International Workplace Group highlights that in 2019, “flexible working is not just considered a perk for the perfect role, but a must-have when it comes to taking a new job offer. When employees were asked to prioritise their preferences when it comes to workplace perks, 80% said that when faced with two similar employment offers, they would turn down the one that didn’t offer flexible working.” In addition, 54% said that “having a choice of work location was more important to them than an increased holiday allowance”.

Traditionally, the payments industry has a reputation for long hours and a culture of presenteeism, however with the development of secure technologies, flexible working is easier to facilitate, and it offers employees and employers several benefits, including:

01 Better work-life balance

A survey by insurance company, Aviva, found that 48% of employees expect their employers to look after their mental health. Implementing flexible working can help reduce stress while allowing individuals to achieve a better work-life balance.

Flexible working allows employees to meet their professional commitments while reducing the impact on their personal life.  

02 A broader talent pool

Offering flexible working gives payments businesses access to a wider, more diverse talent pool. People who feel they can’t commit to working in an office Monday to Friday, because of health or family responsibilities will be encouraged to apply for roles with companies who embrace flexible working hours. Remote working can also open up positions to skilled workers who live further afield or perhaps even overseas.

As we mentioned in our recent blog, ‘Diversity in Payments’ greater diversity in the workplace also supports a wider range of skills, experience, knowledge and creativity, which can help give payments businesses the edge they need to remain competitive.

03 Better productivity

Absenteeism affects morale, productivity and a company’s bottom-line. Studies have shown that flexible working can minimise the effects of stress, thus reducing the number of sick days taken.

Flexible working practices have also been shown to increase employee productivity. Research by HSBC which considered the reasons for motivation and productivity in the workplace found that 89% of people believe flexible working improves their productivity.

The benefits and challenges of flexible working

The development of new technologies has long meant that many of us should be able to work anytime, anywhere. The challenge for businesses has been how to make the most of these new opportunities.

By offering benefits that matter to employees, payments businesses can improve employee loyalty and reduce the number of skilled and talented individuals leaving to join other companies or industries which can offer an attractive working culture and benefits.

With competition for candidates as fierce as competition for customers, flexible working has to become a key consideration for payments companies looking to make their business an attractive proposition for talented professionals.

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Interested to know how flexible working could improve your payments career, or your business? Connect with Headcount today as a candidate or an employer.