Industry Assessing Return to Office Strategies

The financial services industry is considering whether and how to return workers to their desks even as a recent survey by Deloitte finds that firms largely are adapting to the virtual environment.  Deloitte found that in the investment management sector, “many firm leaders have reported a smooth and successful transition to remote work and are assessing the risk-reward trade-offs of even a gradual return.” The report noted that some firms have created steering committees and sophisticated scenario-based plans, others are only starting to review basic decisions about how many spaces to open and how to open them. Key questions firms are now considering: Are workplaces ready to accommodate employees and new safety standards? Which workers need to return and who does not? Firms are considering these questions along with emerging federal, state and local guidelines. Various resources promise to help industry participants consider these questions. ACA Compliance, for instance, provides a checklist of key compliance and risk considerations within categories of regulatory, operational, testing and monitoring and employee oversight for compliance officers. Broker dealer industry trade group SIFMA has also developed a comprehensive resource on returning to work. SIFMA said it collected data from 60 firms and financial utilities to help firms formulate a strategy and tactics for the new operating environment. The SIFMA report can be helpful to fund directors in their conversations with management on their complexes’ return to work strategy and continuing safety implementation plans.