DALLAS — Working from home has become more than a way to get through the pandemic.

It’s now a favored perk for some employees and a necessary lifestyle for others. For some companies, it’s also become a powerful recruiting tool.

AmeriSave Mortgage Corp. has been hiring people from around the country to report to the office in Plano, Texas. By leading with the opportunity to work remotely, it’s attracted a flood of candidates even while raising the qualifications to apply.

“I jumped on it because I’ve known about the opportunities at AmeriSave, and I didn’t want to leave my family in Nebraska,” said Noah Peters, who worked for the city of Omaha before becoming a work-from-home loan originator in July. “I’m an in-person kind of guy, but this was pretty seamless. I love what I’m doing and I’m happy I made the change.”

Bottle Rocket, a technology firm based in Addison, Texas, adopted a “work from everywhere” policy early in the pandemic and said it was permanent. That caught the attention of three former employees in Seattle, Austin and California, and the company quickly rehired them.

“These are very valuable hires who have the institutional memory of our culture and processes,” Bottle Rocket founder and CEO Calvin Carter said. “They were up and running instantly.”

The new policy has also helped attract diverse candidates from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Carter said. These were folks who weren’t willing to make a long daily drive to the headquarters in Addison.

“These are benefits we didn’t see coming,” Carter said. “It makes us more competitive in the human capital wars.”

But work from home doesn’t work for a lot of people. Many don’t have the right computer, software, broadband and training. Other jobs, such as serving food at a restaurant or performing surgery

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