May 2, 2022
Is the Future of the Insurance Agency Workforce 100% Remote?
by Amy Stuntz
At this point, it seems reasonable to say that hybrid office/home and 100% remote, work-from-home arrangements are not a fad. People expect their employers to offer options that fit their lifestyles which has steered even organizations like insurance agencies that are notorious for being traditional, old school, and conservative to change how they operate.
Insurance Journal’s June 2020 article How P/C Insurance Pros Are Faring Working From Home During Pandemic cited their parent company, Wells Media Group’s, 2020 PC Insurance Industry Coronavirus Survey. According to the article, “18% of insurance agency/broker respondents were already working from home prior to the pandemic.” That number spiked during quarantine to as high as 51% for agency professionals and 70% for those working for insurance companies.
Fast forward 18+ months from that survey and total lockdown, what we’ve seen is that insurance professionals, especially those within agencies, are unwilling to return to 5 days/week in the office. Even executives whose roles you traditionally envision in a corner office rely on home office setups for a good portion of their work week. Move on down the line to producers, Account Executives, Account Managers, Marketers, and everything in between, and for most insurance professionals telecommuting job opportunities remain a top work environment benefit.
What does remote work look like?
Remote work doesn’t come in one flavor or appeal equally to every agency. A free-for-all of remote work arrangements won’t work for most agencies. Employees don’t get to write their own schedules; agencies need to have real conversations about personal circumstances that lead people to seek remote flexibility. Employers need to be clear from the start about what constitutes remote work. Is the job 100% remote or do employees need to attend in-person meetings on occasion? Is there any travel required?
What's in it for the insurance agency?
- Reduced overhead — The company can decrease office space, internet bandwidth, utilities, etc.
- Greatly expanded talent pool – They are no longer restricted to local candidates only. Now, they can widen search parameters to adjacent cities, states, time zones, or nationwide.
- Retain top employees– They no longer worry about losing their finest employees due to relocation for personal reasons.
Qualifications to work from home:
More and more agencies are embracing work from home positions but most have specific requirements to do so.
- Time zone – Reside in the same time zone as your employer or the client base you will be working with.
- Agency management proficiency – Proficient in the company’s agency management system. Applied TAM and Epic, AMS360, and Sagitta are in highest demand.
- Home office set-up – Not every employer will provide office equipment. A dedicated home office that is conducive to conduct day-to-day operations including reliable internet connection.
- Availability to travel – While regular travel may not be mandatory, quarterly meetings or in-office training may be required.