Is a flexible work environment a benefit to your company, or a drawback? Employees might love the ability to work more flexible hours or to do work from home, but you need to make sure that your insurance jobs also work out for your insurance clients. Perhaps surprisingly, even some of the flexible strategies that seem challenging for your business can increase your insurance company's productivity.
Working From Home Increases Productivity
You might think that working from home decreases employees' work-based productivity due to distractions. However, INC cites a Stanford University study that discovered that when employees worked from home full time, there was "an astounding productivity boost among the telecommuters equivalent to a full day's work" every week.
It turns out that there are also plenty of distractions at the office, and office-based employees may end up coming in late and leaving work early for outside commitments. At home, people felt less of a need to take extra time off and took fewer sick days.
While this is not to say that you need to immediately shift all of your employees to full-time work from home, moving to a more flexible in-office schedule can help your employees become more productive, not less.
Flexible Work Schedules and Locations Increase Diversity
Flexible work schedules also make your insurance agency more financially productive in the long term by improving hiring and retention. If one of your goals is to attract and retain talent, you can also help to meet this goal when you implement more flexible work schedules and locations.
For instance, if you need administrative help but the position is online, this opens it up to anyone in the country, including highly skilled people who happen to live in remote areas. Similarly, if your employees are struggling to balance a new family and work, flexing your employees' schedules and allowing them to work at different times, have longer or shorter workdays, or work remotely can enable your business to retain this talent, because these employees can keep their jobs and spend time at home.
Your Business Saves on Expenses
Making your insurance jobs flexible increases your insurance agency's productivity by allowing you to use physical resources more efficiently. Those who work part-time from home or have longer hours but fewer days a week can help your business save on office space.
This can be a boon to the small insurance agency, since you're essentially getting free space in your employees' homes. According to Entrepreneur, through telecommuting, "businesses save an average of $10,000 per year in real estate costs."
The Downsides of Flexible Insurance Jobs
While there are many upsides to flexibility in the workplace, it is possible for that flexibility to affect group cohesion, and if employees work from home a lot, they can get lonely. That's why flexibility is the key – the flexibility to work from home part-time or to job share, for instance.
These work arrangements allow employees to have the important office connection that they desire while also having the option to adjust their working arrangements to better suit their lives and to benefit the agency at the same time.
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