Harry Snyder By Harry Snyder • February 22, 2018

Can your insurance agency benefit from a remote work policy?

The ways we work evolve along with advances in technology. Many industries have embraced telecommuting as a way for workers to be more flexible with employees and employers alike reaping the benefits. The insurance industry is among them. What advantages can an insurance agency see from implementing a remote work policy?

Decrease in real estate cost and overhead
With fewer employees in the office every day, the company can possibly reduce office space, internet bandwidth, and other resources required to support in-office employees. Cost savings can be put toward improving the customer experience.

Employ the best talent
If you have a hard time with hiring, imagine expanding your local search for candidates to the whole state or even nationwide. If it’s a role that can be done remotely, why not try it out? Employees can periodically make trips to the office when necessary. Paying for employee travel for the right employee can save money many times over if employee turnover is reduced and productivity is improved.

Improve employee satisfaction and reduce turnover
Commuting is universally detested and has been proven to increase stress levels. Allowing employees to work from home even once or twice a week can drastically improve their job satisfaction and reduce their stress from being off the road and away from traffic. Creating a culture of satisfied employees will reduce employee turnover and decrease the cost and time spent hiring and training for the same positions.

Increase worker productivity
People who like where they work and respect their employer have been proven to work harder and be more productive for the company. This concept is perfectly demonstrated by Richard Branson's management philosophy. He has been vocal about his company's mission of putting employees first. “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your clients.” – Richard Branson. He has always run his companies this way and he has been enormously successful.

Keep your best employees
Sometimes people leave jobs for personal reasons, such as the family is moving to a new city because the spouse got a promotion or great opportunity. Can the employee keep working remotely from the new location? Don’t let go of a superstar employee if you don’t have to, just because of a family situation.

Be more eco-friendly
A smaller office and fewer resources utilized in the office reduces your company’s impact on the environment. Eliminating or cutting back on the daily commute reduces automobile emissions. If your company is interested in reducing its environmental impact, utilizing remote workers is a great first step.

Having a work from home policy doesn’t mean some employees will never be in the office. You can design the policy that works for your company, and each employee depending on their job function and tasks. Maybe eligible employees can work from home up to three days a week. Or, if you have two employees that greet customers and manage the front desk, maybe they can rotate so one is in the office and the other works from home. A sales rep that’s on the road most of the time could work from home one day a week to complete their reports.

Maybe employees can only participate in the policy once they have worked for the company at least six months or one year. Establishing trust is key. You need to know the employee is reliable and will complete their work. Some people struggle to stay focused while working remotely, and some focus better when they can create their ideal environment at home or in a coffee shop. A key component to the policy is recognizing when it’s just not working out, and you might have to bring an employee back into the office full-time. But don’t let this fear keep you from trying out a remote work policy. The positive results might surprise you.

Need some ideas for how to be connected with remote workers and how to make it work logistically? Check out 7 Awesome Tools for Remote Employee Collaborating