The survey found that three in five financial advisers and support staff have yet to return to the office due to the Coronavirus pandemic and many expect to work from home either permanently or part-time.
The study also found that three-quarters of advisers would like to see office costs allocated elsewhere.
In its ‘Future of the Office’ survey Intelliflo also found evidence that advisers and clients were benefitting from “a new way of working.”
The survey found that more than half (53%) of adviser firm employees are set to carry on working remotely either full time or part-time.
The poll found that 59% have not yet returned to the office in any capacity, and by the end of the year, a quarter (25%) do not expect to have moved back to office working.
Some 84% of advisers say that they are now “fully optimised” to work from home compared to 47% prior to the pandemic.
Many firms are re-evaluating their office spending with three-quarters (76%) keen to see their firm allocate budget elsewhere. Some 42% would rather see more spending on technology than office space, a third (34%) would rather keep more cash reserves, and a fifth (20%) would rather spend is allocated towards employee wellbeing.
More than one in ten (13%) expect to either downsize or remove their office space entirely.
In terms of the benefits of remote working, advisers said freeing up more client time was a clear bonus.
By not commuting, respondents have been saving an average of 60 minutes per day – time that more than half (52%) of advisers spend with clients instead. In addition, more than a third (38%) believe they will benefit from being able to reach more clients nationwide.
More than a third (36%) of advisers agreed that they would consider permanently adjusting their service proposition such as providing a virtual advice service. Some expect that the cost savings from operating remotely will place downward pressure on fees, and a number of respondents said that this was a cost effective way to service more low income clients.
The poll showed that 89% of clients were satisfied or very satisfied by being serviced remotely and have continued to make better use of technology to stay on top of their finances at home. Logins to Intelliflo’s Personal Finance Portal, a tool which allows clients to view financial information and interact via a secure online hub, increased by 383% between February and June.
• The poll was carried out 30 July – 6 August. It surveyed 237 employees with roles including owners, mortgage and investment advisers, Paraplanners, compliance, finance, opps/IT/admin.