Hybrid working enables graduates to develop essential skills, explains Martha May Jones, a graduate on HSBC’s commercial banking programme.
As a recent university graduate now working for HSBC UK on their commercial banking graduate programme, each day, week and month varies.
We complete rotating placements across different business areas in order to expand our skill set and network ahead of applying for permanent positions at the end of the scheme.
Changing teams every six months definitely comes with its rewards and its challenges. Alongside differing experiences, it also teaches you to be flexible and adaptable, which are key skills in today’s post-pandemic workplace.
Hybrid working at HSBC
HSBC, like many other businesses, now broadly supports hybrid working across most business areas. This allows for greater freedom and autonomy.
Personally, it has allowed me to learn more about myself and my own working style, about how to make decisions based on how I work best, as well as how to organise and prioritise my time.
However, the term ‘hybrid-working’ has a fairly lose definition, which I have come to learn is subjective and varies significantly dependant on manager.
My first team supported hybrid working. This was a customer facing team, and where restrictions allowed, aimed to be in the office twice a week, speaking to clients once a week, and working from home twice a week. My second rotation, also supports hybrid working, yet works from home 80% of the month. This is what works for them and the team.
Pros and cons of hybrid working
Working from home has its benefits, you can perhaps balance personal commitments more easily and regain time not spent commuting to allocate back to yourself and your wellbeing. However, it can also become easier to work longer hours, and requires you to set physical and mental boundaries.
For me personally, working in the office also has many perks. I enjoy the opportunity to be social, meet with other graduates, and spend time away from my screen. Working with your team in person can make learning and personal development much easier, which is crucial during your early career.
As somebody who is new to the bank, and to the world of full time work, establishing the right split has taken some adapting and getting used to.
As a junior you feel obliged to follow the working patterns of your team, yet this can vary, and whilst some teams might prefer to work from home, this might not be the best working and learning environment for every employee.
This means that it requires a level of independent assessment to determine that balance between doing what is best for the business, the client, and you as an individual. Establishing this can take time and consideration.
I am incredibly grateful that HSBC and the graduate programme allows us the responsibility to do so. I will value the skills I am gaining through flexible hybrid working throughout my career.
Martha spoke about her experiences of hybrid working at this year’s ISE Student Development Conference
Read more about hybrid working