Beyond the 9-5
Neal Jannels (pictured), managing director of One Mortgage System
It’s almost 40 years since Dolly Parton sang about working nine to five, and attitudes towards the structure of this traditional working day have clearly shifted beyond all recognition.
A study last year from YouGov showed that just 6% of UK workers are working a ‘normal’ nine to five day.
A further survey from Worksome suggested that employees no longer want to be chained to the Industrial Revolution-inspired nine to five grind from Monday to Friday and crave the true flexibility offered by a seven-day working week.
It also added that businesses which don’t adopt a culture of flexibility not only risk losing their staff to the lure of the gig economy but could also lose their competitive advantage as a result of becoming unattractive and inaccessible to next-gen talent.
Integrating flexibility into operational processes has become vital for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and technology has played a huge role in this transition.
Focusing on the intermediary market, there are many considerations to take into account. Advisers have always been required to work more amenable hours to suit the needs of their clients.
As client’s working hours have become more flexible, the advice process must also follow suit – whether face-to-face, over the telephone, by email or by other means of communication such as FaceTime or Skype.
The way we gather, store and utilise data has also changed dramatically through a variety of technological advances, and this can now be done as efficiently and effectively at 9pm in the evening and not limited to 9am in the morning when many lending doors officially open.
The question is – are lenders keeping up? In some ways yes, but in other ways no.
Technology continues to fill the gap by enabling advisers to access a vault of information, upload documents, source products/criteria, undertake credit searches and so much more to help save hours of administration time.
Systems and solutions are now available which are better aligned with lenders’ systems and fully integrated so intermediaries can file applications when they want rather than waiting on hold and desperately trying to complete the data trail before ‘close of business’.
Inevitably legacy issues remain for some lenders, but they are working hard to improve systems to better engage with distributors, intermediaries and the end customer.
Thankfully. many tech firms are also on hand with a cup of ambition and the ability to provide solutions to help them yawn and stretch and try to make them come to life. Dolly would be proud.