In July, State Bank of India had announced the ‘work from anywhere’ strategy amidst the pandemic. Now Bank of Baroda (BoB) is considering following a combination model of work-from-home and work-from -branches over the next four to five years. While about 80 per cent of its workforce is currently working from the branches, it plans to let half its staff work remotely, while allowing the remaining half to work from their offices full time, in a few years’ time.
However, before implementing the same, a detailed study of the processes being followed presently, employees’ comfort and the preference of the customers will be undertaken. While only about 20 to 30 per cent of customers have gone fully digital, for everyone to get used to and shift to the digital mode completely, it will take about a decade or at least half a decade.
The plan is being considered because it has been observed that many customers prefer not to visit the branches physically. Also, with the way things are moving, more customers in the future may opt for digital banking. This means, the branches will not require too much staff and it will be possible to easily man them with just 50 per cent of the workforce.
Bank of Baroda may look at dividing its staff into three groups — those whose presence is required at the branches, those working in the back office and can shift to remote working, and those who can follow the hybrid model of work.
While the branches will definitely exist and operate, they will witness more use of technology. It cannot expect the customers to go fully digital in the immediate future without some level of assistance or support.