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  • remote working
  • treasury
  • virtual work

Remote treasury: overcoming challenges and creating opportunities

Feature-image

Three years after lockdowns forced a change in the working patterns of office-based workers, remote working continues to be an option for many. Treasurers compare different treasury models of work to see what has been effective and how treasury teams will work together in the future. 

by Anmol Karwal

Published: June 20th 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way we work, leading to a range of approaches to the workplace. At EuroFinance’s 9th annual Global Treasury Americas West Coast, treasurers at the Cloud Data Management firm, Informatica, boutique apartment-hotel hospitality company, Sonder and the business intelligence software company, Cloud Software Group, explore the advantages and disadvantages of remote, hybrid, and traditional office environments and how treasurers are adapting to meet the needs of their employees and business. 

Embracing hybrid work models

The global pandemic has necessitated a shift in how businesses operate, with many embracing hybrid work models to accommodate the needs of their employees. 

David Watt, Head of treasury at Sonder, discussed the company’s approach to embracing a fully remote work model. He emphasised the importance of building trust within the organisation: “When you trust people and give them the autonomy to get their work done, they can thrive, and the company can thrive.” This sentiment was echoed by other treasurers, highlighting the significance of trust in remote work environments.

David Watt, Head of treasury at Sonder 
David Watt, Head of treasury at Sonder

Flexibility and adaptation were central themes throughout the discussion, with Robert Lau, Treasurer and Head of Real Estate and Workplace at Informatica, sharing the company’s decision to encourage employees to come in two days a week. He noted, however, that the culture hadn’t fully returned, with only a modest increase in employees coming to the office after the policy change. Lau also pointed out that different business units within Informatica were setting their own schedules, emphasising the importance of allowing individual teams to find the arrangement that works best for them.

Robert Lau, Treasurer and head of real estate and workplace at Informatica
Robert Lau, Treasurer and head of real estate and workplace at Informatica

When it comes to managing a hybrid workforce, treasurers highlighted the need for clear expectations and frequent communication. Bruce Edlund, Group director and assistant treasurer at Cloud Software Group, stressed the importance of staying connected with his team: “When I talk to my team, I want to know if they’re stuck or if there’s a roadblock that I can help them with.”

Additionally, treasurers emphasised the importance of creating an inclusive work environment for remote and in-office employees. Lau acknowledged the challenges faced by remote workers: “Having a group in the office and then the group zooming in creates a kind of a haves and have nots situation with control of the conversation.”

The impact of economic changes on work models

Treasurers provided diverse perspectives on the potential impact of a recession on hybrid work models. Bruce Edlund, whose company currently operates on a five-day workweek, suggested that a recession might prompt his organisation to reevaluate its approach. In contrast, Watt pointed out that Sonder had committed to a remote work model, which would be difficult to reverse: “We’re kind of all in on remote; it would be traumatic to try to rebuild the company in any particular location at this point.”

In the face of uncertainty, treasury leaders must also be prepared to reevaluate and adjust their hybrid work policies as needed. Lau discussed Informatica’s approach, stating that they are “hopeful that over the next six months, we’ll see some trends and we can adjust accordingly.” This openness to change will be crucial as organisations learn from their experiences and respond to shifting economic and social circumstances.

Bruce Edlund, Group director and assistant treasurer at Cloud Software Group
Bruce Edlund, Group director and assistant treasurer at Cloud Software Group

Moreover, training and development opportunities should be readily available to both in-office and remote employees, ensuring equal access to skill-building and career advancement. As Watt stated, companies must strive to make all team members feel equal, regardless of their physical location.

Treasurers’ insights demonstrated that the transition to hybrid work models is an ongoing process, requiring constant adaptation and a willingness to learn from both successes and challenges. As there is no one-size-fits-all solution to implementing a hybrid work model, embracing flexibility, fostering trust and communication, and prioritising employee well-being, companies can successfully navigate the new world of work and create environments in which their employees can thrive.

intl23

Step outside of the day-to-day, benchmark your operations and future-proof your strategy alongside 2,000 senior treasury leaders this September 27th-29th in Barcelona. On the theme of “Navigating a new world,” this year’s agenda will empower treasurers to tackle today’s new and complex challenges and optimise treasury for the new economic cycle. Hear from 150 world-class speakers including treasurers from eBay, JTI, Under Armour, Booking Holdings, Airbus, News Corp, L’Oreal, Anglo American, Dr Martens and many more. Book by July 28th to save up to €1,900. Find out more