The Leader Magazine

SEP 2018

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the leader September 2018 33 Yet legacy technology and processes can make it difficult for financial companies to change. In addition to adopting new technologies, they need to rethink their business models and retool their people, processes and places. If the industry is to deliver what customers want – instant and easy access – then "talent, talent, talent" must replace "location, location, location" as the mantra. And competition for the best people is fierce. Silicon Valley and the rest of the tech world are luring many talented professionals away from the financial services sector. These former employees, then, can turn around and help them replicate key profit sources such as payment systems, consumer and business lending, and investment advisory services. "We are competing to attract top talent to drive our product innovation and growth to ensure we support our clients' needs today and tomorrow," said Raymond Mays, vice president, global head of Real Estate, Facilities & Security at Nasdaq. "There is no doubt that our new vibrant workplace and state-of-the art trading floor are helping us recruit and keep the best and brightest people." The emphasis on creating a positive employee experience can't be overstated. People are looking for companies that have a sense of purpose and a clear mission – and that value the contributions their employees make. It's important for the workplace to act as the physical embodiment of this philosophy by helping people connect and contribute in meaningful ways. Today's employees expect both a life and a living. Given a choice, they'll take the former – even over more compensation or benefits. The evolution of space The locations where people work today must reflect the needs of the specific organization and its people. Firms are looking for curated experiences that provide employees with à la carte workplace experiences, services and support. And that includes creating space that is sustainable for the environment and its occupants. "Space makes culture. At Goldman Sachs we are introducing flexibility so that people are empowered," said Lloyd Brown, a Goldman Sachs vice president. "Space reinforces dynamics. We are asking the banking industry to change their culture." Work environments for the financial services industry are evolving beyond open-plan spaces and activity-based workplaces (ABW), or task- oriented solutions, to more neighborhood-based choice environments (NCE) that incorporate the best of ABW while addressing the human-centric aspects of space. NCE spaces create a neighborhood or a home for teams while providing people with access to several different work settings. Companies need agile work settings that can accommodate all sorts of different tasks. These can include scrum or maker spaces, where teams can come together and ideate, or space for focused work. Pin-up areas and writable surfaces help coworkers share information and give them more control over the environment. "We are focused on rightsizing," said Cathy French, director of global workplace strategy, workplace design and retail design for the Royal Bank of Canada. "We can't compress space much more but we can focus on how it is utilized to serve people better. It's about focusing on where people go to get work done." With technology giving them the ability to work anywhere at any time, many employees of financial institutions (with the exception of those working on trading floors) are untethered and able to work remotely. Yet financial companies that have explored the implementation of telework and external mobility programs have experienced mixed success. Some have determined that keeping their people together in the office helps with collaboration and innovation – and strengthens cybersecurity. Providing areas where staff can reflect and rejuvenate – such as refresh

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