The covid-19 pandemic should be used as an opportunity not only to modernise, but to revolutionise, the corporate and working culture in the international advice sector, says Nigel Green.
Coronavirus social distancing and nationwide lockdown measures have made many firms in our dynamic and rewarding sector, including deVere, encourage teams around the world work remotely.
For several years now I've been of the opinion that, ultimately, remote work is the future for the international financial advisory industry.
Ours is an industry that is one of the best-placed to thrive in this new era."
It has been the direction of travel mainly due to new and developing technologies, the blistering pace of the digitalisation of our daily lives, and because of far-reaching cultural and social shifts.
Also, importantly, because ours is a forward-looking, fast-paced, service-orientated sector, meaning that we can more quickly adapt to the shifts, continuing and enhancing our business models and practices in the process.
Other sectors, for example manufacturing, are likely to find it more of a challenge.
However, no-one was expecting the almost overnight pick-up in the pace of this trend due to a global pandemic.
Covid-19 has turned standard norms on their head in the first quarter of this year and remote work has now become a major global workplace phenomenon.
I believe this must be seen as an opportunity to shed the more archaic parts of the industry's corporate culture and look ahead into the future - after all this is where we're all headed.
I will go further too. I think the workplace revolution will prove to be beneficial to staff, companies and the communities in which we live and work.
For many in the international advisory sector, these are regular arduous, uncomfortable and expensive commutes.
With remote working, this could be consigned to history, meaning these people could be saving (often significant amounts of) money and avoid sometimes unpleasant daily journeys.
It will also give individuals more quality time with family and loved ones and to do things they love, including sport, and other hobbies.
This will all lead to happier and healthier teams, both physically and in terms of mental well-being.
Many independent studies show that remote work reduces stress and makes us all more productive in our work.
I also believe the advantages are significant for companies, too.
For instance, retention of staff can be expected to go up when they have enhanced flexibility.
Firms will also be able to cast their recruitment net far wider as top talent could live anywhere in the world.
Another considerable "pro" is the likely lowering of operational expenses. This is then putting firms in a stronger position to seize future opportunities.
With businesses more robust, with teams who are happier, healthier and more engaged with their work, and with dramatic environmental benefits due to a drop in unnecessary travel, our communities will undoubtedly be better for it.
Ours is an industry that is one of the best-placed to thrive in this new era.
We must now all be committed to the success of this exciting, promising workplace revolution. It's literally in our hands.
Nigel Green is founder and CEO of deVere Group