Over the years, our company has been researching what we call “Lifestyle Benefits” that allow for more flexibility in the workforce (a quality many NexGen advisors are seeking in corporate cultures) to determine their effectiveness on the productivity and profitability of advisory firms. One might think there is not much of a correlation, but ironically we are finding that advisory firms that offer better “perqs” in terms of flexible time are actually more productive and profitable than their counterparts, and their clients are just as happy.
One of the common lifestyle perks we get asked about is working from home. The technology explosion spilling over into financial advice has made working from home quite productive and profitable for many firms. As an example, a few years ago, when a key employee at one of my client firms had to move out of state, we decided that keeping her was worth the risk. We know that properly prepared and motivated employees (the basis of our P4 Program) respond to the increased freedom of being their own boss with even greater productivity when allowed to work from home. Working from home is now part of the structure for many of our client firms.
In the example above, the husband of the number two senior advisor in a two-advisor firm took a better job hundreds of miles away, so regular commuting was never an option. Because she worked with her own stable of clients, who loved her and meshed perfectly with her, we wanted to do whatever it took to keep her with the firm. So we set her up with a fully functional home office, and had her commute back to the home office one week every quarter.
We knew that she was very diligent and conscientious about her work responsibilities, so our primary concern was that her clients would feel they didn’t get to see her enough. Boy, were we wrong. The clients got so used to working with her on the phone that most of them don’t even want to come into the office anymore. The advisor was so grateful about the effort we made to keep her—and happy with her new situation—that she’s now doing the work of two advisors, and is probably the best employee at any of our client firms.