Only a third (37%) of advisers expect face-to-face communication with clients to resume pre-pandemic levels, according to Intelliflo’s latest survey.
Intelliflo’s survey also found that the same number (37%) expect that advisers currently working remotely will continue to do so, while a third (33%) expect advisers will go back to the office.
Over the course of the pandemic, most firms have embraced technology, with 65% of respondents saying they had witnessed better adoption of technology by employees over the last year.
By not commuting, advisers have been able to save an average 60 minutes a day, which more than half (52%) spend with clients instead.
Nick Eatock, CEO of Intelliflo, reflecting on how the advice profession has adapted and what will happen as restrictions continue to lift, said: “We have seen a huge shift from before the pandemic when the majority of advisers were office based, and most firms have turned to technology to ensure that people can work effectively when not in the office, with 65% of our customers surveyed in March saying they have seen better adoption of technology by employees over the last year.”
Intelliflo said that a positive trend to emerge from the pandemic was greater awareness of staff wellbeing and company policies around flexible working. At the start of the pandemic, just 16% of Intelliflo users said they predicted that lockdown would make employee welfare more important for firms within 12 months, but a year on over half (52%) say it has become a higher priority for their business.
Eatock adds: “The last year has presented challenges for all of us, but the advice sector has quickly adapted to ensure business as usual. On the whole, working from home has been a success for firms over the last year, with better use of technology and the flexibility of working remotely delivering benefits for staff, businesses and clients.
“With this new way of working deeply embedded among advisers and their clients, I expect this to mark a permanent shift in the way that advisers operate in the future.”
Image: Anthony Indraus