Half of UK Financial Services workforce want to work from home after COVID-19

Half of UK Financial Services workforce want to work

COVID-19 has profoundly shifted how financial services workers want to do their jobs in the future, with one in two wanting to continue to work from home for at least part of the week once the pandemic passes, according to a new report by KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission.

  • Sector has responded well to the pandemic, with most (78%) able to work remotely
  • A quarter (26%) of finance workers want to work from home full time once pandemic passes
  • One in ten (13%) looking to relocate following pandemic


COVID-19 has profoundly shifted how financial services workers want to do their jobs in the future, with one in two wanting to continue to work from home for at least part of the week once the pandemic passes, according to a new report by KPMG and the Financial Services Skills Commission.

The sector has been able to successfully transition to a remote working model, with 78% of financial services workers surveyed saying they’ve been able to work effectively from home during this period. For a quarter (26%), these new ways of working have been so positive that they are keen to work from home full time. Some are considering even more significant changes, with one in ten (13%) looking for a change of location, be that home or office, after the pandemic.

Whilst different generations within the workforce have historically held contrasting views on ways of working, the preference for more flexibility is consistent across age groups. The findings show financial services workers aged 31-45 are the most driven to work more flexibly (53%) and workers under 30 are the keenest to work from home permanently (28%).

Mel Newton, Head of Financial Services People Consulting at KPMG UK, said:

“COVID-19 has created a global shift in ways of working. With much of the workforce scattered across a variety of home-offices, kitchen tables, and spare bedrooms, this has presented both difficulty and, in some cases, welcome flexibility.

“It is important to note that only half of the workforce want to continue working this way, and that clear division is important. It demonstrates that flexibility is more than just allowing people to work from home on the occasional Friday – what the future workforce wants is personal choice. Following the pandemic, employers can’t offer blanket solutions when it comes to how their employees work. They will make the best of their talent if they employ them more thoughtfully.”

While the majority of the workforce has been able to work remotely successfully, many finance workers believe that their pre-COVID skills are not fully sufficient to perform effectively in the ‘new reality’.

One in three (30%) said they need more digital expertise, while only a quarter have been offered digital training by their employers. Furthermore, 21% said they are relying on different management and leadership skills whilst working remotely, yet only 17% have been offered training on it.

With one in ten (12%) workers saying their employer has not done anything to equip them for the changing circumstances, it would appear upskilling opportunities have not increased proportionally to bridge what could be a growing skills gap.

Claire Tunley, CEO at Financial Services Skills Commission, said:

“The last few months has brought the skills challenges facing the UK financial services sector into greater focus. As we have experienced a huge leap forwards in digitisation and remote working, the need to upskill our employees in digital and technological expertise is more important than ever. Increased investment in our employees’ future skills, alongside a sophisticated remote and flexible working offer, will help the UK financial services firms address the skills crisis the sector has been facing, attract talent, and position it for a successful future.”


Notes to Editors

Research conducted between July 1st and July 30th 2020, by Savanta, the intelligence business that helps companies make better decisions. We surveyed 1,510 members of the UK workforce, including 632 employees working within financial services.


For more information, please contact:

Olivia Shalofsky
PR Assistant Manager, KPMG UK
(+44) 07469 441 308

Jack Neill-Hall
Head of PR, TheCityUK
(+44) 077 9393 2885


About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 21 offices across the UK with approximately 17,600 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.40 billion in the year ended 30 September 2019.

KPMG is a global organisation of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 147 countries and territories and has more than 219,000 people working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

About the Financial Services Skills Taskforce

The Financial Services Skills Commission is an independent body, representing the UK financial services sector on skills. We work directly with the sector and facilitate collaboration to ensure that businesses have the talent and skills it needs for the future. The creation of the Commission was a key recommendation from the work of the HMT-led Financial Services Skills Taskforce (2018-20) launched by former Chancellor, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP. The Taskforce identified the challenges that technology, demographic change and globalisation are having on the UK financial services sector and developed five recommendations to address these challenges. Read the taskforce report here. Through four workstreams, we are addressing the major skills gaps impacting the sector, and finding solutions to issues around access to talent. By collaborating with businesses, training providers, government, regulators and the education sector, we seek to create solutions together, that work for all stakeholders involved.

© 2022 KPMG LLP a UK limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organisation of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organisation please visit https://home.kpmg/governance.

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