Jeff Holmes, SVP and COO of SIAA, was asked by Insurance Journal to weigh in on how remote work has affected independent agencies.
Remote work is not working for all independent agencies. Managing staff can be difficult for agencies that may only have one principal and two customer service representatives, says Jeff Holmes, senior vice president and chief operating officer for SIAA. “Many independent agencies that do have a storefront have difficulties managing CSRs remotely,” Holmes said.
At the same time, remote work, or flexible work, can help agencies expand their recruiting opportunities, Holmes agrees. “Somebody may be more willing to make a commute two or three days a week, if they live an additional 20 or 30 miles than maybe what they did in the past,” he said. “So flexible work options could be something that creates more opportunity to acquire talent in the future.”
Holmes says remote working is not for everyone. “We did a survey of our employees within the building — they were put into remote relatively quickly,” he said. “While I think we can keep our employees remote long term, the employees have actually expressed the desire to come back, simply because they miss each other. They have fun in the office and it’s interesting.”
But Holmes agrees with Newgard that “flex schedules and telecommute, allows agencies the ability to look well beyond the geography,” he said. “Independent agencies can now draw a wider talent pool and that’s a great benefit.”
Read the full article, published February 22, 2021, on insurancejournal.com.