Two thirds of brokers have not yet returned to the office in any capacity, and by the end of the year, a quarter will still not have returned, found a poll by IT provider Intelliflo.
It comes after advisers and support staff said they have transformed their ability to work remotely over the last six months, with 84 per cent saying that they are now fully optimised to work from home compared to 47 per cent prior to the pandemic.
Many firms are now re-evaluating their spend on an office space, as three-quarters of advisers say they would rather see their firm allocate budget elsewhere.
Around four in 10 advisers say they would rather see more spend on technology than an office space, a third would rather keep more cash reserves, while a fifth would rather spend was allocated towards employee wellbeing.
Intelliflo surveyed 237 employees from roles including owners, mortgage and investment advisers, paraplanners, compliance, finance and administration.
Remote working benefits advisers
By not commuting, advisers have been saving an average of 60 minutes a day – time that around half of advisers spend with clients instead.
A third believe they will benefit from being able to target more clients nationwide while remote working.
Almost half of respondents thought being based at home would increase diversity in the industry.
At the same time, more than a third of advisers agreed they would consider permanently adjusting their service proposition – such as providing a virtual advice service – to suit the increasingly online world.
Some expect that the cost savings from operating remotely will put a downward pressure on fees, and a number of respondents commented that this is a cost-effective way to service more low income clients.
The poll also showed that 89 per cent of clients are satisfied or very satisfied by being serviced remotely.
Nick Eatock, chief executive of Intelliflo, said: “It’s important that advisers have the flexibility to choose a way of working that benefits them and their clients, and technology is a crucial enabler of this.
“We’re expecting this to mark a permanent shift in the way that advisers operate in the future. Advisers can now reap the benefits of working remotely, helping them to become more agile and efficient without comprising on the value they deliver to their clients.”