"These new ways of working, will certainly remain in place for people who may struggle with mobility or transport issues – or generally balancing appointments with work and childcare."
More than two thirds (68%) of advisers have already resumed face-to-face meetings with clients along with day-to-day working in the office (66%), according to research from Zurich.
Nearly a quarter (23%) are also meeting with providers following up to 16 months of remote and home working through the Covid-19 pandemic.
A further 20% are intent on meeting their clients face-to-face and 22% are planning time in the office - though for the majority, firm dates are yet to be set. Similarly, most adviser firms (65%) are looking to resume in person meetings with their providers. Just 13% have no plans to return to face-to-face meetings, suggesting a preference for continued remote working.
73% also said they’re comfortable returning to industry events and conferences later this year.
Michele Golunska, CEO of Sesame Bankhall Group, said: “We’re keen to support people back into the office and out meeting clients in person where that’s preferred. What the pandemic has taught us is that we can be flexible and offer customers more choice. Being able to do things remotely has provided flexibility for our staff, members, and their clients, and some will want to continue in a similar vein. It’s about offering choice and striking the right balance.”
Louise Colley, director of Zurich’s retail protection business, commented: “The pandemic has brought into sharp focus the importance of protection. It’s also shown how the industry has done a sterling job in working together to support customers throughout. This includes the ability to flex and adapt, with virtual appointments and things like health screenings to help people secure valuable cover. These new ways of working, will certainly remain in place for people who may struggle with mobility or transport issues – or generally balancing appointments with work and childcare.
“That said, for many of us, face-to-face contact with colleagues and advisers is absolutely invaluable, and it’s great to see that advisers are looking to support this where customers want it.”