In 2017-2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey. It concluded that 1 in 4 (or 25%) of workers in America could work from home. The primary industry in which workers explored this option happened to be Finance. 57% of respondents in the finance industry said they could work from home, and 47% did. Finance working from home isn’t new, but in the current situation with the world facing a pandemic, it could make the difference between life and death.
The Coronavirus has caused a massive shift in the entire world, both within workplaces and outside of them. As such, many companies have moved their employees to work from home. This guide shares best practices for working from home, as well as finance working from home positions.
Best Practices: How to Work From Home
Moving your daily routine from inside an office with set rules and boundaries to home, where things may seem unruly, could be the cause of tension. To avoid unnecessary stress, consider these work from home best practices.
Over Communicate: As a business leader, you will want to be highly communicative with your employees. Being overly talkative is better than being under communicative. Choose to reach your employees over set video check-in calls or progress emails, or even by leveraging set automated reports.
Set Expectations: Do you expect your team to be logged on during typical business hours or is there flexibility? Many employees now are living in their homes with other working partners and their children at home from school. If it’s possible for the job to grant flexibility with hours, this could majorly benefit productivity.
Functional Workspace: Advise your team to set up functional workspaces. While not everyone has the luxury of having a separate office, urge them to set up a dedicated place in the house where they can work comfortably. Optimally, they should at least have a desk setup that is clear of clutter.
Minimize Distractions: You’ll want to minimize distractions, be those of the human or electronic kind. By setting up a physical and functional workplace (even if it’s the kitchen table), you can make a boundary between “work” and “home” within the walls of your house.
Use Phone Apps: Mobile applications will prove to be very useful, even when finance is working from home. You can download the same apps you use on your computer, like Slack, for example, on your phone. That way, if you have to set up an activity for your child in another room and an urgent message comes in, you won’t have to worry about missing a beat.
Benefit from Technology: Technology provides so many amazing benefits. From helping to automate workflows, removing manual tasks and relieving tedious work to the ability to stay connected continuously. It can also remove process bottlenecks by providing more significant insights into business performance with automated analytical reporting, as well as clear audit trails. Find the right technological tools for your team so that everyone can stay connected and still work collaboratively. Also, be sure that whatever tools you use are secure and compliant with regulations. Working in the finance industry from home may require a closer look at security and privacy.
Social Interactions: Right now, most of the world is living under social distancing rules, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to be socially isolated. Thanks to the internet, you can still set up fun social interactions for your team to stay connected, like a Zoom meeting happy hour, for example.
Finance Jobs Working From Home
Finance working from home requires a shift in how you get the job done because the conditions are different from that of an office. For the following top financial jobs that work from home, here are some tips and tricks of the trade:
Day Trader: To trade successfully and minute-by-minute, you’ll need real-time quotes and live market information. Undoubtedly, the ability to read the market remains unchanged whether you work in an office or from home, but you’ll also want to leverage analytical software to assist.
Financial Planner: Independent financial advisors who work from home can reduce both commuting and overhead costs of having an office. But, when setting up a work from home situation as a financial planner, take into account your parking and accessibility situation.
Financial Writer: Financial writer jobs are underpublicized, but they tend to be high in demand. A financial writer should have had professional experience within the industry.
Corporate Financial Careers: Technology has made it possible for many corporate jobs in finance to offer the opportunity to work from home. Given the current pandemic, many of those in the corporate financial world find themselves logging into their computer at home to get their work done.
Work from Home Friendly Firms
Many companies offer work from home jobs, even when a global pandemic is not occurring. These span various industries and some of the most prominent big-name companies include:
Online Retail Companies
Amazon: During this time, Amazon is hiring more workers. The work from home positions at Amazon span from customer service to account management.
American Express: From customer service jobs to positions that require an MBA, American Express offers contract work-from-home positions.
Online High Tech Companies
Salesforce: Fortune 100 has named Salesforce one of the top 100 companies to work for. With thousands of employees worldwide, Salesforce offers work from home opportunities. However, it’s important to note that these jobs are typically reserved for those with more experience rather than entry-level.
Choose Work From Home Jobs Wisely
When the Coronavirus passes, the allure to work from home may not fade. For those seeking a work from home job for the future, be sure to conduct research. Many scams try to promise to make money from home, which turns out not to be reputable businesses.
For anyone who does get hired to work from the home, the application and hiring process should still mirror that of a traditional position. This means an application, interview process and onboarding process should be expected.
Tips for Work at Home Life
When you start working from home, there’s an adjustment period. You’ll want to keep this in mind:
Have a work schedule and stick to it. This way, you can avoid burnout and be able to balance work and life, even from the comfort of your own home.
Beware of workaholic tendencies. These tend to creep up and be less noticeable when you work from home because you’ll check an email here or keep your phone near you for work at all hours. Be sure to log off and give yourself time for the other aspects of your life.
Why Do Employees Allow Working from Home?
Along with the nature of business becoming more digital and the opportunity to work from home being plausible, there are some specific reasons why an employer may allow work from home positions in finance to exist in their business.
Type of Career: Some careers are built to be work from home positions. For example, accountants often have the option to work from home because the nature of their work can be done online from anywhere.
Disability: If someone is injured, but still able to work from home to fulfil their job duties, then that could be the best-case scenario for both parties. The employee doesn’t lose their job, and the company can avoid having to train someone new.
Parenting: If you can grant your employee the option to work from home because they need to raise children, this can be highly beneficial. Employees will be able to better balance family and work, and businesses may have higher employee retention rates.
Pandemic: Hopefully, another pandemic will not occur in this lifetime. But, given the current situation, it’s best always to be prepared to set up your employees remotely. Other types of natural disasters may also force a work from home set up, so it pays to have a plan in place for these types of situations.
It is Good or Bad to Have Employees Work from Home?
When shifting to all employees or some employees being able to work from home, there are aspects of the business to consider strongly. These include:
Cost: Can your business save money with work from home setup? If you can avoid overhead costs of an office, then yes. If you still need an office, what are the costs associated with having some employees work from home and not others?
Teamwork: You’ll still need to find a way to set up a collaborative culture and an environment that fosters collaboration. With technology like Skype and Zoom video calls, you can still make this happen.
Customers: Will your customers be affected in any way if your team is working from home? If this means slower response times, then consider using an automated solution to avoid bottlenecks.
Management: Managers will have to shift their style to accommodate those who are working remotely. They can set up schedule check-in times and remain supportive from afar by still giving feedback to their team.
Equipment (online/offline): Both online and offline equipment will have to be set up for off-site employees. Security and privacy cannot be understated. Select a tool stack that has interoperability and inherent safety measures managed.
The Bottom Line
Whether it happens at a company’s discretion or because of a global pandemic, finance work from home jobs is increasing rapidly around the world. Working from home should neither be designed like a regular job nor regarded as a special perk. Instead, it should be set up like a traditional job - with rules, regulations and boundaries. This is so that regular protocols and work behaviour is always expected and withheld. With this in mind, both employees and employers can set up work from home jobs that promote productivity under every circumstance.
As a business leader, having employees working remotely should not affect your business practices. It’s essential to communicate your expectations and use technology, such as data automation and analytics technologies, to foster a collaborative work environment. It also helps you keep on top of business performance even when it’s remote.