It took some time for Natalie Bartholomew, chief marketing officer at Grand Savings Bank in Grove, Okla., to get used to working from her dining room table.
When she joined the $441 million-asset Grand Savings, Bartholomew was given the option to work from home, as needed, to avoid having her burn out from a lengthy commute. She typically works from home a couple days each week, which allows her to spend time with her family — including two young sons — that would otherwise be spent idling in her car.
“Having the flexibility to work from home has been a game changer for me,” Bartholomew said. “It’s enabled me to remain present and involved without feeling guilty for not being in the office.”
Banks are slowly warming up to the benefits of telecommuting, particularly as technology and security protocols evolve to make it easier to offer, industry experts said. While customer-facing roles should be based in a branch or office, there is a growing belief that banks must consider telecommuting to attract and retain talent in operational, technology and customer service areas.
For banks that want to offer a remote work option, it’s important to invest in tools that will help those employees do their jobs remotely, said Dale Johnson, a managing director at Novantas.
That includes videoconferencing abilities, proper security protocols, paperless workflows and assigned laptops.
“The near-term objective is really to create mobile enablement,” Johnson said.