Cali Williams Yost's Answer:
I can understand your concern. My answer to your first question about whether or not the market's current uncertainty will cause your financial services employer to discontinue its overall commitment to balance and your flexibility in particular depends on one thing: whether your company views flexibility as a "perk/benefit," or as a core career and business management strategy.
If your company offers flexibility because it's "a nice thing to do" but never clearly articulated why flexibility is a key strategy for the ongoing growth of the business, you may see a pull back. The logic will be that we can't afford to offer flexibility, like many other perks, during difficult times.
However, if from the beginning, your company has consistently made the link between flexibility and the ongoing success of the firm in a 24/7, high tech, global work reality, you won't see much pull back. But what you will mostly see is an increased focused on delivering results regardless of whether you have flexibility or not.
This brings me to your second question about whether or not your flexibility is safe. While I must qualify my answer by saying I would need to know more about your individual situation, you need to make sure you are 100% meeting, if not exceeding the business objectives you agreed to with your manager.
If you are unclear, ask to have them clarified again and then make sure you are communicating, communicating, communicating so your manager knows that not only are you performing while working from home one day a week, you are performing even better.
Also, make adjustments to your work+life fit that will address changes in your job due to the market. Maybe you need to be more flexible with the day you work from home to accommodate critical meetings. Maybe there's a special project you could volunteer to be part of as a way of going the extra mile during a difficult time.
This is where it really helps not to think of your goal as work/life balance , but as work+life fit. Then when circumstances change and you need to make adjustment, you don't feel like you are losing your balance, but simply adjusting your fit. It's a much more positive approach.
Turbulence is inevitable in any business, but it doesn't need to derail your flexibility as long as flexibility has traction in the business, you are delivering results and going the extra mile.