More than half (53%) of adviser firm employees are likely to work remotely – either wholly or in part – in the long term, according to Intelliflo’s Future of the Office poll.

The poll found that 59% have not yet returned to the office in any capacity, while 25% are not likely to do so by the end of the year.

The majority (84%) of advisory firm staff said that they are now fully optimised to work from home, compared to 47% prior to the pandemic.

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Three-quarters (76%) would rather see their firm allocate budget somewhere other than on office space; 42% would rather see more spend on technology, 34% would rather keep more cash reserves, and 20% would rather spend is allocated to employee wellbeing.

More than one in ten (13%) already expect to either downsize or remove their office space entirely.

By not commuting, respondents have been saving an average of 60 minutes per day; more than half (52%) have chosen to spend this with clients instead.

In addition, 38% said they will benefit from being able to target more clients nationwide.

When asked about broader industry changes brought on by remote working, 43% of respondents expect that this will increase diversity in the industry.

More than a third (36%) of advisers agreed that they would consider permanently adjusting their service proposition – such as providing a virtual advice service – to suit the increasingly online world.

The poll found that 89% of clients were satisfied or very satisfied by being serviced remotely.

Logins to Intelliflo’s Personal Finance Portal, which allows clients to view financial information and interact via a secure online hub, increased by 383% between February and June.

Nick Eatock, CEO 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.

“It’s encouraging to see from our data that the adoption of technology is up from both advisers and their clients, with almost four times as many clients logging into their portal now compared with earlier this year.

“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.”