Insight & Analysis

Zooming into 2021 – reader survey results revealed

Published: Jan 2021

2020 will certainly be a year we will all remember. The coronavirus pandemic has touched us all as we have tried to face the challenges of continuing our lives and work as best we can, supporting our family, friends and colleagues and coming to terms with loss, the new “norm”, educating our children from home and trying to see a brighter future.

Working remotely from home

In Q320 we reached out to you, our community, to see how you were coping. Our editorial team here at Treasury Today was, and still is, working remotely as we continue to support you professionally.

We recognise working practices will have changed, with many of you working remotely too, so we launched a short survey to find out more. The results are now in.

69% of respondents have been working remotely. Of the remaining respondents, working practices have been a mix of remote working and attending the office. This is totally expected, as many of you have systems, processes, and procedures in place to operate in this manner. When asked “how many of your treasury colleagues are working remotely”, 66% said all their colleagues are working remotely, with 31% saying some of their colleagues. It would also appear that seniority is not a key factor here either, as 54% of you say your CFO is working remotely – 34% say your CFO is mixing their time between remote and office working.

Technology is the key enabler of remote working, with 75% of you stating it is either very easy or easy to work from home. Just 5% say it is not easy at all, but this could be due to family and/or home-schooling commitments rather than access to technology to work.

“I am single and do not have children, but I am aware that the burden of childcare/teacher has fallen to many of my female colleagues who are mothers.”

The impact of the global pandemic has been felt by all of us. We asked “if you are female, do you believe women have been negatively impacted more than their male colleagues during the pandemic?” 29% said yes, 36% said no and the remainder are not sure.

“Without the separation of going to the office I often play many roles throughout the day such as cook, caretaker, cleaner, teacher all whilst trying to work as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Virtual calls keep you all in touch

We all know the value of staying in touch with one another but the daily conversations that used to occur in every office are no longer possible. However, the growth of remote communications, Zoom meetings and the like have been a lifeline for most of you, with 38% saying you participate in between 11 and 20 such calls in an average week. 17% of you said you participate in more than 20 calls in an average week.

The new “norm”

It appears remote working has not had too much of a negative impact on your daily routines within the treasury function. Almost half of you envisage remote working becoming the new normal once measures are relaxed post the pandemic, whenever that might be. Let us all hope the vaccines can be rolled out as quickly as possible and we can all return to some sort of normality over the coming months.

Working remotely is challenging

Whilst you have all risen to the challenge, remote working has obviously thrown up its own issues, with lack of face-to-face contact with your colleagues obviously the most challenging. 36% cited this, followed by work/life balance amongst 25% of you. Some of you did mention that documentation, especially where signatures are required, has been problematic.

Help is on offer

Just over half of you advise your company has accessed government ‘furlough’ schemes. Other schemes involving preferential taxation, EU State Aid, foreign investment restrictions, and debt restructuring have also helped to ease the burden.

As a result of the above assistance, fortunately, the majority of organisations have not had to reduce headcount although some of you stated that headcount is being reviewed now.

It is also pleasing to note the pandemic has not had too much negative impact on the credit ratings assigned to your companies. 77% of you said there have been no downgrades although several companies have seen their ratings suffer.

Content received favourably

Finally, we asked you about our content during this difficult time. Unsurprisingly, we have seen a real spike in our website traffic and our Treasury Insights weekly e-newsletters are also very well received. You also told us the specific topics you have accessed and our editorial content and material on COVID-19 has been particularly helpful.

We will use your responses and feedback to ensure we continue to deliver relevant content to you in a format you can easily digest.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and for your continued support in these challenging times. We look forward to a safer, healthier and brighter year ahead.

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