Managing a Remote Team Tips for Insurance Agencies by pexels-shvetsa-4226140

In 2024, the insurance industry will continue its shift toward remote work. Insurance agencies are generally known for their office culture, but after the impact of the pandemic, many agents found working from home the better option.

And, as technology improves and younger agents join the insurance sector, there is more room for flexible work arrangements. While not everyone is convinced that this is the way to go, it is proven that remote employees are often more productive than office-bound agents.

However, if you are considering going the remote route in your agency, you must have a strategy for managing a remote team if you want the shift to be successful.

Setting Up for Success

The best way to manage a remote team and an office-bound one at the same time is to use the right tools and resources. For example, an insurance agency management system will keep everyone on the same page.

A cloud-based management system like JenesisNow allows your agents to search for and find client data, no matter where they work from. They can manage client policies and work with their colleagues to close sales and handle claims.

JenesisNow also offers several automation features and reporting tools, so your team can speed up their workflows without losing the personal touch customers expect from your agency.

And, because communication is as crucial in your business as it is to your customers, you can’t go wrong using JenesisNow to keep everyone connected.

JenesisNow doubles as project management software where each agent can track their progress. Plus, they can use it to find other agents’ or employees’ comments on a client file. They can also use it to communicate directly with customers using email and marketing features.

Even better, there is no need for external storage, as your agents can save documents and communications on the JenesisNow system whether they work in the office or remotely.

Communication and Collaboration

As mentioned above, communication is vital in any insurance agency, and with JenesisNow, you can get your communication strategy on point.

However, face-to-face interaction is also important, even if this interaction happens over a computer screen for some of your employees.

If you decide to manage a remote and office-bound team for the foreseeable future, it is crucial to schedule regular virtual meetings. The intent of communication can get lost if it only happens via an online system, so your teams must get the opportunity to discuss progress and challenges in meetings.

While you have everyone’s attention during a meeting, you can also reiterate your expectations. Use a presentation or online document to lay out turnaround times for sales and the targets for each team. When everyone knows what they need to do, it will be easier for them to work together, even if not everyone works from the office.

At the same time, whenever your teams meet, you must encourage them to share information and communicate about potential issues. If you notice a disconnect, you can get things back on track by arranging fun team-building exercises. These team-building events can happen virtually or in person, depending on the size of your budget.

Maintaining Security and Compliance

When you manage a remote team, security and compliance become even more crucial. Office and remote teams must follow your agency’s security policy.

This means enforcing data access controls, password protocols, and specific device use. No matter where your employees access data from, it must always be encrypted.

When employees work from home, they do not necessarily use only one device as they would within the office. They may use tablets, phones, and different computers. Encrypted data helps ensure your customers’ information stays safe, even if a remote worker’s device becomes compromised.

Set up regular training sessions about cybersecurity best practices for all your employees. Your teams must have the latest information about phishing scams and keeping data secure.

Also, your agency’s regulation compliance must extend to your remote team. Implement access controls and activity logs to ensure employees adhere to all regulations.

Work-Life Balance for Remote Teams

For some employees, remote work offers the flexibility they need to balance work and life. But not everyone knows how to use a remote setup well, especially if it’s new to them.

If you have a newly established remote team, define each member’s working hours from the start. Encourage them to stick to this schedule, no matter how busy things get.

Emphasize the importance of taking breaks and leaving the office environment behind after working hours. This becomes more difficult to do when working from home because it is too easy to work through breaks and past the end of the workday.

On the other hand, some employees need more flexible hours because they have many things to take care of. If possible, you should offer more flexibility for these employees to take care of children and other personal tasks.

This was unheard of in agency environments not too long ago, but again, the pandemic has made business owners see the value of remote working and encouraging a work-life balance.

Remote Working Benefits the Whole Team

Managing your remote team properly can benefit your entire agency. Remote working options will attract more talent and increase employee satisfaction. If you build a strong foundation using tools and resources, you can also build a successful remote team to help you grow your business.