Why flexible work is shaping the post-pandemic workplace

Can a wealth management company function properly in a work-from-home environment? The last two years have answered this question with a resounding “yes.” But these are volatile times in a constant state of flux. We’ve seen it all by now – lockdowns, re-openings, a return to the office, renewed restrictions. So, what’s the best way for wealth management professionals and their employers to ensure success in an environment that can change so fast?

Hiring in the wealth management sector was in full swing in 2019, then the pandemic hit. Larger institutions put recruiting projects on ice, focusing instead on internal consolidation and cost cutting. Employees were also more inclined to stick with their current jobs than make a career move during uncertain times. Now, some are more willing to look at their options. But where will they find the best environment to succeed despite ever-changing constraints on work and meetings? And is a bump in pay enough incentive to make a move?

Financial professionals are back in the job market

Remote work affects different roles in different ways

After the initial phase of the pandemic, the technological necessities for managing wealth and relationships from a home office were in place. However, the specific roles inside wealth management companies have experienced this new, virtual work environment very differently. Client relationship managers and anyone involved in sales have gone through a rough transition to virtual meetings. Especially those just getting started in their careers have had it tough – acquiring new clients with video tools is difficult in a business that relies so heavily on personal connections and trust.

Other roles such as business or investment management have, in contrast, been able to enjoy greater productivity since they no longer spend as much time commuting or in meetings. After some initial skepticism, company executives are also largely on board. At first, many thought it would be impossible to keep employees focused and performing without regular office attendance. The reality has proven otherwise in most cases.

But remote work can also cause a major problem that affects the entire company: it takes away opportunities to foster team spirit and a shared workplace culture. Companies across all industries are rediscovering the value of face-to-face interactions. Replacing or augmenting what’s been lost requires the ability to react quickly and creatively – something that has always been more difficult for large organizations like big banks.

Employees are thinking more about what they want from life

On the personal level, people have also had time to reflect on their life priorities. Many would now prefer part-time work or a more flexible work schedule over a traditional full-time position. They may wish to focus on family or other pursuits. That’s why smart wealth managers are doing more than just putting up with remote work. They’re using part-time options and flexibility as a tool to recruit top talent.

For example, at Marcuard Heritage, we’ve structured our organization to fully support remote and part-time relationship managers. With a team of assistants on hand, they can serve their clients as thoroughly as any full-timer. The secret to success is not the number of hours we work but the level of trust and loyalty we build. We’ve also found that these policies help anyone hoping to return to full-time work after parental leave or a sabbatical.

Flexibility unlocks new opportunities and increases retention.

Part-time work shouldn’t end careers, it should save them

In many professions, going part-time can limit your career prospects. No one knows this better than working moms who have returned part-time after going on parental leave only to be demoted, passed over for promotions, or otherwise sidetracked. Unfortunately, it happens in the financial industry, too.

But going part-time doesn’t have to derail your career. Our business hinges on understanding our clients’ needs and supporting them. And that doesn’t require being strapped to a desk for 40 hours a week. In fact, working part-time or from home can create new opportunities.

Professionals approaching the end of their careers also frequently welcome the prospect of reducing their hours. This practice is beneficial for all. Instead of losing a valued colleague to early retirement, our organization retains the knowledge, experience, and network they have built. They, in turn, enjoy the freedom to travel or devote time to hobbies and other interests.

Reacting quickly to a changing workplace

Offering our people the flexibility they desire aligns perfectly with our values at Marcuard Heritage. Because we seek to foster genuine relationships based on integrity and independence. That’s why we’re always open to new ways to expand our team with like-minded professionals who share our core values. If you are experienced and passionate about what you do and looking for more flexibility and autonomy, be sure to review our job openings and reach out if you see a good fit.