This South African bank says some staff can work from home permanently

 ·28 Jan 2022

Financial service provider Nedbank has announced a planned shift in its workforce structure, with a number of employees set to continue working from home permanently post the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of this hybrid model shift, the bank has informed employees whose jobs do not require them to be in a branch or office, that they can work from home on a permanent basis if they choose. It has also partnered with cloud computing company Citrix Solutions to offer remote working systems and virtual desktops.

“Long before the pandemic, we saw the need to empower our employees to meet an increasingly digital customer base where they are and provide the superior service they have come to expect from us,” said Mervyn Savary, Nedbank’s executive head for End User & Communication Services.

Asokan Moodley, executive head of End User & Communication Experience at Nedbank, said the business and technology landscape has changed, and the bank is now leveraging predominantly cloud-based applications across its operations.

“As a result, we have seen a drastic increase in bandwidth requirements, and have more latency-sensitive applications that require more resilience, stability and quality than ever.”

Speaking to BusinessTech in July, Nedbank said that it ultimately envisages a ’60/40 split’ which will see only 60% of staff work from one of its campuses on any given day.

“Nedbank has been on a journey over the past few years, rethinking its operating model and ways of working to keep up with the changing world and world of work,” said Deb Fuller, group executive of Human Resources. “Subsequently, Nedbank has gradually introduced new Ways of Work and incorporated flexible work practices.”

Now, due to Covid-19, many Nedbank employees are already doing some form of remote work, she said.

“This has given Nedbank an opportunity to accelerate its aspirations, scale its digital workplace in a way that delivers the greatest value for all stakeholders, as well as formally adopt a hybrid workforce model.”

Fuller said that Nedbank’s corporate real estate team has reviewed international research and that this will inform the bank’s post-Covid approach and its new ‘hybrid workforce’ model.

“For us, a ‘hybrid workforce model’ means that we will have a portion of our workforce who will remain working from a Nedbank office or branch based site, a portion of our staff who will work remotely and another portion of our staff that will follow a blended approach whereby they move between working at home and the office,” she said.

Other companies expected to follow 

Other companies are expected to adopt Nedbank’s approach as employees reevaluate what they want from their jobs, said Oz Desai, general manager of Corporate Traveller.

“The Great Resignation has also been referred to as the ‘Great Upgrade’. People are examining how they want to work and how they see their career path unfolding. They are hoping to create their ideal position – with plenty of scope for personal growth, balance and travel.”

For Desai, the biggest issue facing companies in 2022, alongside vaccine mandates and work-from-home policies, is the retention of talent.

“Companies looking to attract the right talent will need increasingly progressive policies around hybrid work, working holidays and digital nomadism.”

Desai believes that the 2022 working environment will look very different to the lockdown, work-from-home scenarios we’ve all got accustomed to.

“Although people like the idea of working from home, we can expect a strong move back to the office – perhaps balancing remote work with a couple of days spent in the office for those positions that can accommodate it. Flexibility is now at the top of the agenda.”

Read: After 160 years, Standard Bank says it is now 99% digital

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