For many employees these days, both are possible. What started as a temporary necessity for the 95% of our workforce enabled to work at home during the pandemic has become a valued working practice and a competitive advantage. Early on, we saw that our employees were just as productive, if not more so, while working from home. Internal surveys then confirmed that they highly value the flexibility that home-working offers. So, we analyzed factors like regulation, risk and individual role requirements and determined that up to 75% of our employee population could be eligible to work flexibly on a long-term basis. As a result, hybrid working (a mix of working at home and in the office) is becoming the norm in many teams, and a core part of our workplace culture.
And, it’s not just current employees who benefit. Our hybrid working model helps us attract – and retain – a larger and more diverse group of employees, including early-career talent, working parents and those in continuing education. Hybrid working’s emphasis on technology and virtual collaboration also sparks the innovative thinking that makes us more agile and helps us further improve clients’ (and colleagues’) experiences.
Our clients’ needs are highly diverse and always evolving. That’s just one reason we’ve recently accelerated the roll-out of new ways of working across the firm. In particular, agile working practices – and multi-disciplinary agile teams, where this makes sense – will help us be more responsive, adaptive and innovative in everything we do. The result? Better outcomes for clients, our businesses, and our employees’ work experiences.
We’ve already started our transformation. Last year, we launched a first wave of Agile@UBS – a new, unified way of working that will transform our culture and help us find solutions for clients more quickly than ever. A specialized Agile Academy in UBS University will offer specialized training and coaching to help employees in all our businesses get up to speed.
Our employees’ overall health and well-being is extremely important to us, and we’ve continued to adapt our support as employees’ needs and preferences have changed over time. Our comprehensive health and well-being offering includes a suite of programs, benefits and workplace resources to help employees manage work and personal life. A related learning curriculum features topics like team-building in a virtual setup, relieving stress and preventing burnout.
To promote physical and mental health, we sponsor firm-wide initiatives like virtual fitness challenges and provide mental health support that includes an employee assistance program and free access to a specialized mindfulness app. We also support employees in positively impacting society by matching charitable donations and offering paid leave to in environmental and community initiatives. Internal surveys conducted throughout the last year confirmed that our concerted focus on physical, mental, financial and social well-being is highly appreciated.
A big part of being a great place to work is providing access to competitive benefits. Ours – which include insurance, retirement and personal leave – are custom-designed to meet the needs of our local employee base, and they often go beyond what’s legally required or common in that market. For example, comprehensive employee assistance programs to help manage issues like stress, illness, personal conflict, finances, bereavement, mental health and elder care. Employees in some locations can access company-provided or subsidized health services, child care and fitness options. We also actively support hybrid (a mix of office and home-working) options and flexible working arrangements (e.g., part-time, job-sharing and partial-retirement roles), and we offer generous parental and family-care leave to help employees take care of their loved ones.