Mobile work options impact RIA firms

Allowing employees more flexibility and control over their work routines can lead to greater productivity and a long-tenured team

Dec 30, 2015 @ 11:40 am

By Sheryl Rowling

+ Zoom

The technology revolution continues to evolve, impacting us in ways that were unimaginable even 10 years ago. The "givens" of today will propel us — or even force us — to examine and change how we manage our work force. Those given factors include:

• The ubiquitous presence of cell phones

• The availability of countless apps

• Increased storage capacity and greater processing capability

• Decreased focus on local markets

• Younger employees

According to Alicia Rey, group director, industry solutions at Citrix, "Regardless of what we call it, whether workshifting, flexworking, smart working, remote working …. etc., the goal is the same. Employees want the flexibility to work from home as needed, or work on the road while traveling, or accommodate schedule challenges in order to maintain productivity. When employees have that flexibility to take care of their personal lives, they are more satisfied and more engaged with the company."

How can technology provide the flexibility employees crave?

• Working from home — or anywhere — is possible with remote access, laptops, tablets, cell phones, video conferencing and intranet.

• Work is made easier and more accessible with online tools for research, custodian data, web-based financial planning, CRM in the cloud and shared document vaults.

• VoIP phones bring local connectivity to any location.

Allowing employees more flexibility and control over their work routines can lead to greater productivity and a long-tenured team. Embracing technology and the freedom it can enable may actually lead to improved work satisfaction for principals and employees, a higher quality firm, and potentially a path to an eventual internal transition.

Sheryl Rowling is head of rebalancing solutions at Morningstar Inc. and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.

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