• Cross-training, or encouraging team members to pick up skills in more than one area of the business, can be a powerful strategy when facing a crisis like the pandemic.
  • Employees will gain new perspectives, become more engaged and invested, and may even discover new strengths. 
  • Even outside of a crisis, leaning on the workers you have rather than constantly making new hires can drive productivity and inspire upward career mobility. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

An important lesson I had to learn early on in my entrepreneurial journey is that, in the face of a crisis, you must leverage whatever assets you have to secure a solid foundation for your business. Lean on your skill sets, tools, space, and perhaps your greatest resource: your people.

When it’s time to get lean, encouraging and training the people on your team to develop skills in more than one area of the business is often a smart move. It’s called cross-training, and it could be the strategy that helps your business survive the toughest times.

Save money on headcount

The primary reason you hire an employee is because they can do their job well, which is of the utmost importance. But it’s also worth evaluating how diversifying an employee’s expertise to include multiple areas of the business can help improve your bottom line.

As a result of proper cross-training, your employees will build on their existing knowledge and develop new skills, ultimately becoming more empowered workers. Consequently, this approach can help save on the cost of onboarding additional employees.

Gain alternate perspectives

Often, bringing in a fresh set of eyes to observe and weigh in on different areas of a business can lead to identifying opportunities for improvement and efficiencies. I recently shared a story about an unconventional hire my company

Almost two-thirds of financial services professionals have increased their productivity while working from home during the coronavirus crisis.

A new report from lobby group Humans in Finance found that 63% of survey respondents were more productive working remotely, with 18% experiencing a decline. Some 70% said their work-life balance had improved, while 58% reported improved health and wellbeing.

The survey – Remote Working in Finance: COVID-19 & Beyond – quizzed more than 600 finance professionals in over 80 locations across 6 continents. In addition to the above findings, it reveals that:

  • only 3% want to work entirely from the office post-COVID
  • 95% believe employers should offer a range of remote / in-office workplace options
  • 80% are excited by the prospect of working from any location they choose
  • 83% believe remote working could reduce carbon emissions / improve the environment
  • 75% say firms will struggle to attract and retain talent if they fail to adopt flexible working long term
  • 55% would consider changing jobs if an alternative offered greater flexibility – for women under 40 with children, this proportion is 73%.

The report also highlights some of the negatives associated with remote working due to coronavirus, such as the blurring of work and personal life (cited by 67% of respondents) and weakened relationships with colleagues and client (62%).

But the overwhelming majority of those asked (86%) say these issues could be addressed if companies update their approach to work post-Covid.

Is the office dead?

So does this mean the death of the office, at least for the financial services sector? The survey says not, 90% of respondents indicating a preference for a hybrid model combining a mix of office-based and remote working.

The key factor is employee: 95% of those asked say employers should offer a variety of

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