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From employee benefits to expected salaries, we recently surveyed thousands of candidates in our annual Salary and Benefits Guide to delve into their motivators when looking for a new role.

We were surprised to discover that 74% of Accountancy and Finance professionals would be willing to accept a fully remote role. Intrigued, we spoke to Laura Brown, Divisional Manager at Search Accountancy & Finance and Chris, Claims Manager at Reed In Partnership to get the full scoop on why this is and what changes they’ve seen within the industry over the past 12 months.

Q&A with Laura Brown, Divisional Manager at Search Accountancy & Finance

Q) Do you think companies will continue to implement remote working practices post-pandemic?

A) “The companies which I have had conversations with feel they have to adapt to the new way of working and therefore, most feel that having the ability to provide remote working will continue.”

Q) Have you found that candidates value remote working when looking for new roles?

A) “We have needed to adapt our questioning recently and throughout the pandemic to ensure candidates long term needs are met with regards to remote working. We need to ensure that any positions we are putting them forward to are in line with their flexible working mentality/ requirements. This is certainly not a question I was asking 10 years ago. We need to understand what they require, a lot of people have got used to the extra cash having not needed to commute and the extra time they have in the mornings and evenings. This is definitely an area that they ask about and is now part of our screening process.”

Q&A with Chris, Claims Manager at Reed In Partnership

Q) Do you plan to continue remote working practices post-pandemic?

“Due to expansion of the teams, we are now in a position whereby the office may not be large enough for our teams so working from home will certainly still be prevalent post-pandemic.

Other companies we have spoken with have reduced their office spaces and will operate as a hot desk type system.”

Q) What effect has remote working had on your business and employee productivity?

“Some have struggled with the situation and have needed a lot of support whereby others have flourished, enjoying more time with family and therefore been more productive when at their desks.In accounts, the work needs to be done, it doesn’t stop, so the productivity has remained the same.”

Q) What technologies and processes have you implemented over the past 12 months to allow for remote working?

“Implementation of Microsoft teams and other virtual platforms. All employees can work remotely on laptops and training can also be conducted remotely. We have also conducted all onboarding remotely via Teams.”

While some companies used to offer the ability to work from home as a perk, it has now become the norm for most businesses including within Accountancy and Finance. Seemingly, Accountancy and Finance professionals adapted well to home-working and reaped the rewards of a better work/life balance, with minimal impact on overall productivity.

However, with 57% of respondents currently active within the job market and the average recruitment lead time taking 3.8 months, it leads the question, is there more to be done to advocate remote working within job ads, specifications and during the selection stage?

For more exclusive Accountancy and Finance insights like this, download a free copy of our Salary & Benefits Guide for Professional Services.

Are you looking for your next Accountancy or Finance role? At Search Accountancy & Finance, we have a range of opportunities available, including remote and office-based roles for ambitious and skilled Accountancy and Finance professionals. Get in touch for a confidential discussion about your career.