From In-Person to Remote and Back Again: What to Consider
Insurance | Summer Rehkop, CRM, CIC, CISR, Weaver & Associates | Jun 27 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work across various industries, including the insurance field, and now, many companies are transitioning back to the office, or changing their hybrid work setup.
For any insurance professional, navigating the transition to (or from) remote work comes with both advantages and challenges. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of remote work in the insurance field from the perspective of employees. Understanding these factors can help employees and employers alike make informed decisions and effectively navigate the current work landscape.
What Do We Gain From Remote Work?
1. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
One of the significant advantages of remote work in the insurance field is the flexibility it offers. Remote work allows employees to have more control over their work schedules, providing an opportunity to achieve a better work-life balance. This flexibility enables individuals to accommodate personal commitments, such as family responsibilities or pursuing hobbies, while still meeting work obligations. Employees can enjoy the freedom to structure their workday in a way that suits their preferences, leading to increased job satisfaction and overall well-being.
2. Increased Productivity and Efficiency
Remote work can lead to increased productivity and efficiency for employees. Without the distractions and interruptions commonly found in office environments, employees can focus on their tasks and complete them more efficiently. Remote work eliminates time-consuming commutes, allowing employees to spend more time on important work-related activities. Additionally, employees have the flexibility to create an ideal work environment that promotes concentration and creativity, resulting in higher-quality work output.
3. Expanded Job Opportunities
Remote work also opens opportunities for employees to work with companies and clients from different geographical locations. This means that employees are not limited to job opportunities in their local area. Remote work allows for a broader job market, increasing the chances of finding positions that align with an individual's skills and interests. This expanded pool of opportunities provides employees with the potential for professional growth and exposure to diverse insurance practices and markets.
4. Cost Savings
Working remotely in the insurance field can lead to significant cost savings for employees. With remote work, there is no need for daily commuting, which reduces transportation expenses and saves both time and money. Employees can also save on costs associated with work attire, meals, and other incidental expenses typically incurred in an office setting. Remote work eliminates the need for dedicated office space, reducing or eliminating expenses related to rent, utilities, and commuting-related costs.
What Challenges Come With Remote Work?
1. Limited Face-to-Face Interaction
One of the challenges of remote work is the limited face-to-face interaction with colleagues, clients, and industry professionals. Building and maintaining relationships can be more challenging in a remote work environment. Informal interactions and spontaneous collaboration that often occur in an office setting may be more difficult to replicate remotely. However, with the effective use of video conferencing tools and regular communication, employees can mitigate this challenge and establish strong professional relationships.
2. Reduced Informal Mentorship
In an office environment, informal mentorship often occurs naturally as experienced colleagues share their knowledge and insights with newer or less experienced employees. Remote work can hinder the formation of these mentorship relationships, as informal interactions become less frequent. The absence of face-to-face interactions can make it challenging for employees to seek guidance or receive informal feedback on their work, hindering their professional development and growth. By acknowledging the challenges and implementing strategies to foster intentional knowledge sharing, organizations can help employees continue to grow professionally and mitigate the impact of reduced incidental learning opportunities in a remote work environment.
3. Increased Need for Self-Discipline
Remote work requires a higher level of self-discipline and self-motivation. Without the structure and supervision of a physical office, employees must manage their time effectively and stay focused on their tasks. The absence of direct supervision can be challenging for some individuals, and it may be tempting to become less productive or succumb to distractions. Establishing a routine, setting clear goals, and managing time effectively are crucial to maintaining productivity and meeting deadlines.
4. Blurring of Work-Life Boundaries
While remote work offers flexibility, it can also blur the boundaries between work and personal life. Without a clear separation between the two, it can be challenging to disconnect from work and establish a healthy work-life balance. Remote employees may find themselves working longer hours or feeling the pressure to be constantly available. Setting clear boundaries, creating a designated workspace, and adhering to a schedule can help establish a balance between work and personal life.
Proactively Address Remote Work Challenges
The pandemic changed many things about the work environment, and it caused many people to begin working from home for the first time. In the years since the pandemic, employees have undoubtedly had many changes to their schedules, whether by returning to the office or working on a hybrid schedule. With these changes, it’s easy to feel stressed or unsure about how to properly navigate expectations. It’s also easy to get caught up in the challenges of remote work, such as the lack of mentorship and the blurring of work-life boundaries. But by becoming aware of these challenges and working to combat them, you can help prevent these pitfalls and maintain your productivity and success, no matter where you work.
Tags: Insurance , Remote Work