Sometimes an idea is just too good to pass on. And yet many companies do.
Take the remote workforce, for example. For far too long, a number of companies have shunned the idea that remote workers fit within their business objectives. Remote workers are difficult to manage (we can’t see them, so how do we know what they’re doing?), to communicate with, to work with .. and the list of reasons goes on.
Yet the fact is remote workers are just as dedicated as in-house employees to the company’s mission. More so, suggests one study by employee feedback and engagement software provider 15Five shows that 21% of the managers, supervisors, and executives surveyed saw an improvement in both productivity and performance coming from their remote workers.
The good news is that corporate America is catching on. Recent figures from the US Department of Labor show that the number of companies with employees work remotely part of all of the time has increased more than 50% since 2012. A Gallup poll shows that 43% of the employees they surveyed spent at least some of their time working remotely last year.
Within the insurance industry, that number is also on the rise. The Gallup survey shows that 47% of workers in insurance, finance and real estate work remotely at least some of the time, up from 39% in 2012.
Yet for your firm, is it right? Your current staff is a great advertisement for in-house talent. The teamwork is great, as is the communication. How can a remote worker fit into that environment?
Quite easily, it turns out. When I started WAHVE, the idea was to connect insurance agencies and companies with retired or retiring insurance industry veterans. The “pretiring” insurance pro can transition into retirement more easily, can adjust their work schedules to fit with whatever lifestyle needs they have, and still contribute to the industry they’ve served for 20 years or more. The employers get actively engaged remote workers who not only understand the tasks, but bring a wealth of expertise to the job.
That idea had legs, it seems. Employers who have hired our wahves have reported these additional benefits: our wahves communicate more often with the companies they’re working with than would happen if they were onsite; employers found workers with exactly the skill set they needed without the geographic limitations; wahves helped client companies gain a competitive advantage, and; there’s minimal training required (wahves have been there, done it).
As for teaming with your current staff, wahves become an extended part of that team. They take the workload off your overworked team members, freeing them to move on to business-building activities. They bring a new perspective and can help teams understand areas of improvement, and maybe even bring suggestions and lessons learned.
Since starting WAHVE, I’ve seen plenty of success stories from clients who, like you, were reluctant about the effectiveness of remote workers. You can read a few here.