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5 Things That Are Here to Stay in the Post-Pandemic Workplace

Chad Levine shares his thoughts on the effect of the pandemic on the workplace giving the example of the insurance industry and how it is being permanently reshaped.

2 mins readSeptember 27, 2021

“While responses to where and how people work have certainly varied, we anticipate a few ongoing practices that will continue in insurance workplaces long after the pandemic is behind us.”

In the blink of an eye, the global pandemic forced an overnight shift in where and how workers across industries, including insurance, perform their jobs. Virtual meetings and conferences, telecommuting, and a boom in remote tech instantly became part of the everyday workplace reality, shaking core attitudes about what it means to be ‘working’ or ‘at-work’.

My team and I work with a range of business owners in the insurance industry, from one-person independent agent shops to larger, more established insurance agencies. While responses to where and how people work have certainly varied, we anticipate a few ongoing practices that will continue in insurance workplaces long after the pandemic is behind us.

1. Putting the brakes on road warriors

Pre-pandemic, many insurance industry road warriors routinely traveled each week to get in front of current and prospective agents and brokers. Although some can't wait to hit the road again, others revel in the ability to reach more agents and brokers in less time through the use of virtual technology. Companies will likely weigh multiple considerations before giving employees license to travel again, and curtailing travel when not absolutely necessary. Health and safety of employees remains a top priority while many companies are likely shaving unnecessary T&E expenses from their budgets.

2. Expanding first-hand touchpoints to new audiences

There's no arguing that in-person sales meetings are still highly effective, yet the pandemic has opened up lines of communication within entire organizations. That is, where once only one or two people might be involved in an in-person meeting, virtual meetings have provided the opportunity for multiple people to participate. It's a benefit most people didn't realize would materialize when virtual meetings became the go-to. There are many benefits to customers and employees connecting virtually first-hand vs. getting relayed information.

3. Examining operations with an eye on efficiency

Employees across the industry will be more attuned to how efficiently they work because of lessons learned from the pandemic. Decreases in travel and elimination of commutes are major factors in freeing up time to be more productive and efficient. Arguably work done could also be more impactful, everyone will triage the importance of meetings, and some clients will prefer to permanently meet virtually. Indeed we have seen a boom in technology advancements and uptake in the industry to help employees work efficiently while working remotely.

4. Boosting insurance take-up rates

The changes forced on businesses by COVID-19 could increase insurance take-up rates, especially in an area like private flood, where new norms may reduce prices and increase ease of transactions. If there’s one glaring lesson we can take from the pandemic, it’s to expect the unexpected. Assessing and addressing risk – whether for businesses or homeowners – is top of mind as people strive to eliminate the potential impact of controllable surprises. One example from 2021 is the aftermath of an unexpected flood event such as the Michigan floods that occurred earlier this spring.

5. Forcing modernization

Some insurance agencies and brokers welcomed changes necessitated by the pandemic while others resisted the idea that they would have to alter their mode of operation. Agencies that discouraged a reliance on digital quickly had to change their tune, embracing how well two-hour Monday morning meetings could work using virtual meeting platforms, and updating technology from desktops to laptops. Regardless of how advanced an agency was in terms of digital acceptance, the pandemic has certainly forced those who were behind to catch up or risk the efficacy of their business long-term.

Over the next few months, we’ll likely see more change and gain more clarity as to how the insurance industry will be permanently reshaped. Many of the changes we’ve seen in the past eighteen months hold great value, and we anticipate they are here to stay. For those who are willing to adapt and remain flexible, the future holds promise for great opportunities and for growth.