ACCA’s UK Talent Trends in Finance 2023 has found that finance professionals have embraced hybrid working, with 77% of respondents more productive while working remotely.

Although more than three quarters of the respondents claim to be more productive while working remotely, some did note that collaboration did become more challenging.

The research, based on a global survey of over 8,000 finance professionals, found that the UK is one of the most advanced regions in the world in terms of high levels of remote and hybrid working, with Scotland the global leader. The data also suggests that, across a range of work satisfaction metrics, hybrid workers are significantly happier than those working full time in the office. 

ACCA head of Skills, Sectors and Technology Jamie Lyon said: “Only one-fifth of respondents in the UK identified as fully office based, with the remaining 80% either adopting a hybrid approach to work or being fully remote. However, globally, the picture is notably different, with over half of respondents being fully office based. And 77% of respondents in the UK feel they are more productive when working remotely.”

Talent and Technology

The report also looked at the role of technology in the workplace. While the overwhelming majority of professionals in the UK say they understand how technology adds value, there are nevertheless concerns about the scale and pace of change, with younger generations most concerned that their roles might be replaced by technology. Similarly, 63% say they want more training from employers, pointing to a significant technology skills gap.

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Despite these concerns the report paints a picture of a highly ambitious and mobile accountancy profession, suggesting a talent crunch exists for the sector. Indeed, over a third (36%) of UK respondents expect to move to their next role within 12 months, rising to 58% within the next two years.

ACCA UK head of technical and strategic engagement Glenn Collins said: “This report demonstrates that our workforce sees accountancy as a smart and empowering career choice, offering opportunity, flexibility and security. While we see the UK embracing new ways of working, nevertheless, the findings about cost-of-living and mental health are stark.

“Undoubtedly the report provides food for thought for employers and all those with an interest in recruitment and retention. ACCA remains committed to offering everyone everywhere the opportunity for a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management and this report reminds us all that there are concerns to be addressed and more to do to fully open up access to our profession.”

Earlier this year, The Accountant looked at how working from home has become a long-term trend post-covid.