A majority of employers and employees in the investment industry want flexible working arrangements to continue post-coronavirus pandemic, according to a new survey by the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute.

The survey, which polled more than 4,600 global investment professionals, found 81 per cent of respondents said they’d like to work remotely at least part of the time, with women (87 per cent) more likely than men (80 per cent) to prefer a remote working arrangement. While 53 per cent of survey respondents said remote working has increased their efficiency, 15 per cent are working more than 60 hours per week, compared to eight per cent pre-pandemic.

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A majority (82 per cent) said they expect to have more than two hours of daily video calls after the pandemic, compared to 21 per cent who said they were heavy users of these platforms pre-pandemic. And while 39 per cent said they travelled for work more than one week per month before the pandemic, only 17 per cent expect extensive business travel to resume in the future.

Nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of respondents said they’re confident in leaders’ ability to manage teams in a hybrid work environment, although they have concerns it will be more challenging for managers compared to a fully remote working experience.

A majority (91 per cent) said it’s important to develop new professional skills to further their career and, while 75 per cent said they’re confident about job security over the next 18 to 24 months, 50 per cent said they’d consider taking a new position outside the investment industry.

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Among employers, support for remote working jumped to 77 per cent from 15 per cent pre-pandemic, although 17 per cent said productivity losses from remote work is a top concern. While 26 per cent of organizational leaders said company culture has suffered from the lack of in-person interaction, 59 per cent said culture improved because employees learned more about their colleagues during the pandemic. And all employer respondents said mental-health issues are their top pandemic-related concern for staff, followed by the impact of childcare and elder care support (80 per cent) and physical health issues (59 per cent).

In a press release, Margaret Franklin, president and chief executive officer of the CFA Institute, said the challenges faced by organizations and individuals over the course of the coronavirus crisis have now become opportunities. “Within the investment industry, the time is ripe to challenge the norms that have long driven our daily work lives. The way that we work must adapt.”

Read: 58% of Canadian workers want hybrid-work arrangements post-pandemic: survey