Coronavirus  

Quarter of advisers will not return to office in 2020

Quarter of advisers will not return to office in 2020

A quarter of advisers have no plans to return to the office this year as the majority consider reallocating workplace budgets towards technology and cash reserves.   

As the UK begins its return to the office a poll conducted by Intelliflo found 13 per cent of advice employees had plans to downsize or remove their office space altogether. 

More than half of respondents agreed some form of remote working now had a place in their longterm future, with 84 per cent now fully set up to work from home compared with 47 per cent prior to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The poll was conducted at the beginning of this month and surveyed 237 advice employees including principals, mortgage and investment advisers, paraplanners and administrators. 

It comes as advice firms look to re-evaluate their spend on office space, with 76 per cent of respondents claiming they would rather their firm allocate budget elsewhere in the business. 

In particular, they said office funds should be funnelled towards an increased technology budget, greater cash reserves and a bigger spend on employee wellbeing. 

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.

"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."

Mr Eatock said he expected this to result in a permanent shift in the way advisers operate in the future.

He added: "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."

This month FTAdviser reported how flexible working was here to stay among the biggest advice players in the industry, despite government guidance on working from home having changed. 

This included flexible start and finish times, an end to the traditional five-day working week and refurbished headquarters to allow for social distancing and a permanent shift to a new way of working.

But advisers have also been warned of the tax implications of working from home, with the new set up potentially inviting a capital gains bill. 

Under long-established rules, if a room in a house is used exclusively for work, any capital gain made on the sale of the property will incur a tax bill. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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