According to the latest report from HOK’s US-based WorkPlace Group, titled ‘The New Financial Workplace’, the financial sector is bearing witness to a substantial workplace evolution as industry leaders and smaller enterprises alike adapt to changing times and preferences in a bid to attract and retain the most valuable of talented employees.

The 36-page report delves into the challenges currently faced by the financial sector and the steps they can take to combat them, of course with a direct focus on the workplace itself. The report suggests that financial services companies are being challenged by the emerging FinTech industry - which is projected to grow to $8 billion in 2018 and thereby enhance this effect - as well as emergent technologies such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, and blockchain, which are further disrupting the sector.

If more traditional companies are to stay ahead or indeed even remain relevant, HOK’s report asserts that they must learn what they can from the technology industry, adopting the cultures and workplace design practices of modern companies in order to enhance both the appeal and functionality of their workspace.

“The financial sector has been at the forefront of the workplace evolution, perhaps only trailing the technology industry,” commented Gordon Wright, co-director of HOK’s WorkPlace practice. “As the nature of financial work continues to evolve, the workplace is adjusting along with it.”

The most noteworthy findings of the report include:
  • A continued decline in square footage across the industry indicates that more financial firms have adopted progressive work styles and are catching up with early adopters
  • Firms that had previously reduced their space have stabilised and are now looking for ways to enhance the employee experience and retain top talent
  • Office space has evolved from being the only place of work to one of many in an entire ecosystem of choices
  • Firms are moving beyond open-plan offices and instead installing more flexible space
  • Neighbourhood-based Choice Environments (NCEs) provide neighbourhoods for teams to operate out of while still giving people access to a variety of work settings
  • Financial companies will likely seek more M&A activities to expand their services, product offerings and expertise
The report also includes case studies of projects for leading financial services firms Scotiabank, TD, NASDAQ, Union Bank and Harris Bank that provide insight into current best practices.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor as he continues to expand his horizons.
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