The Financial Brand Insights - Spring 2022

The negative outcome of the work-from-home campaign was not anything new to the financial industry. Earlier last year, Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Soloman referred to working from home as “an aberration.” Certainly, the struggle to navigate through uncharted waters left CEOs across the industry with one thought in mind: get employees safely back into the office as soon as possible. The health and safety of employees are still very much in the forefront of minds. However, in the last year or so, technological advances, cosmetic additions, and state mandates all played a key role in maintaining a safe working environment, even in the middle of a global pandemic. Infrared temperature scans upon entry, isolated offices, plexiglass separators, and masking all played a major role in bringing millions of workers around the world back into their productive office environments safely. Simple additions to the office, as well as stringent social distancing policies, enabled the workforce to return to a pseudo-normal life — to some extent. Especially as we think post-pandemic, the return-to-work mantra has been a goal of companies and corporations globally as they look at their long-term strategies. When asked about the current trends surrounding operation centers, and whether the pandemic has played a role in reimagining their environments, PWCampbell President & CEO Jim Caliendo had a lot to say. “You would suspect that with the current situation, we would be Not shrinking: You would suspect that with the current situation, we would be seeing requests to downsize space. It’s actually the opposite. Owners are seeing the need to get their employees safely back into the office, and because of this, the push has actually been to increase overall size. Jim Caliendo President & CEO at PWCampbell

seeing requests to downsize space. It’s actually the opposite. Owners are seeing the need to get their employees safely back into the office, and because of this, the push has been to increase overall size.” PWCampbell, a full-service design-build firm that specializes in financial institutions knows a thing or two about operation centers. Established in 1910, the firm has spent decades innovating design within this vertical. “What we’re seeing is the push towards adding more common areas to give their employees everything they need beyond a desk. Fitness centers, cafeterias, lounges, and

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wellness areas all play a role in the new ops center. By increasing their ops center’s footprint, financial institutions can provide all of these benefits with more space to safety execute social distancing.” The bottom line? Before you reduce your main office or operations center’s footprint to address the work-from-home dilemma, think about your long-term strategy. Plan for the post-pandemic staffing levels to return to normal. Never lose sight of the positive impact that working in an office has on your company’s culture, and the role it plays in driving productivity. Know that this too will pass, and once the novelty wears off (hopefully along with the pandemic), your operations center will need to be set up to hold that growing department team. At the end of the day, those water-cooler talks proved to be a lot more valuable than any of us had thought. ▪

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THE FINANCIAL BRAND INSIGHTS SPRING 2022

THE FINANCIAL BRAND INSIGHTS SPRING 2022

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