As a result of coronavirus outbreak, the practice of social distancing has begun. For many of us that means self-quarantining and insurance agents are no exception. You may be very productive at home, but some of us might begin to miss our distraction-free offices. Here are five pro-tips you can use to stay productive at home.
1: Have a Dedicated Workspace
Working from home inherently comes with more distractions. Your first goal should be to create a distraction-free work-from-home environment.
Find a place in your home to set up as a desk. Make sure you have good connection to the internet. Set up a work phone or forward your work phone to your cell phone. If you haven’t already, start using messaging applications for internal communication. Some good ones to try are Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Skype.
Having all the physical tools to work at home are important, but so is the right technology. If you can’t access your agency management system or other insurance agency software from home, now is a great time to start evaluating your technology.
Software that is browser based is the technology agents who want to not just survive but thrive use. That is because browser-based technology like comparative raters and agency management systems make it easy to run your agency from anywhere if you have an internet-connected device.
2: Take Advantage of Your Time Gained
You might not have realized this but working from home has some great advantages.
Working from home means no daily commute to and from the office. No more sitting in traffic. It makes it easier to run to the kitchen and make lunch rather than having to go out. You might find that you have more time to work on things that you normally wouldn’t.
Here are a few things you can do to take advantage of that time:
- Create new website content. Your insurance agency website always needs fresh content to help with SEO. Take this time to write a new blog post. Need some fresh content ideas? Download our 12 Months of Content Ideas e-book.
- Do a quality control check on your website. Keeping your insurance agency website updated is a necessary piece of website success. It goes hand in hand with ensuring the customer experience is a positive one. Choosing images and colors can seem like more fun. But, check the quality of your content often to ensure you keep the customer experience fresh.
- Work on your email marketing. Your prospects are also working from home and will have more time to read their email. Now is a good time to see how effective your email marketing is. Check out our white paper for 8 tips for effective email marketing.
3: Get Active on Social Media
Your insurance agency should be present wherever the consumer is. It’s a near guarantee that the consumer is monitoring social media for the latest updates. This is a great opportunity for you to let your community know that your insurance agency can be a resource during these difficult times.
Start by sharing relevant information from your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts that you feel your followers should be aware of. Always make sure to do your research thoroughly to make sure that what you’re sharing is factual. You do not want to spread misinformation. I do not recommend sharing personal opinions via social media. Stick to the facts to avoid alienating parts of your audience.
Our blog post 4 Social Media Trends Your Agency should Try in 2020 has some great tips for leveraging social media to engage with your community. Use social media to be a resource for others and make sure your website is too.
4: Re-Evaluate Your Website Design and Effectiveness
Your insurance agency website has never been more valuable. People are now, more than ever, pondering whether their insurance plan is the best plan for them. Now is a great time to reevaluate whether your website is working for you or not.
Also, is it a tool for clients and prospects to help them address their concerns? Are you offering online rating via a consumer rating portal so that a prospect can get a quote while on your website? Does your website have a client portal where your clients can view their policies?
While you’re at home, review these great resources to help you answer these questions:
5: Take Time to Decompress
Working from home can be stressful. It’s understandable if you get a little stir crazy after long periods of time at home. Here are a few tips for staying sane in your new working conditions.
- Set boundaries. You may be working in the comfort of your own home, but your personal time is still your personal time. Set strict working hours. Give yourself the same time to recuperate as you normally would. Don’t feel bad about that either. Even though you’re working from home, it wasn’t your choice.
- Take breaks. You may not realize it, but you probably take tons of mental breaks throughout the day at the office. You chat with friends on messaging apps. You visit with co-workers in the break room. Most of us take an hour for lunch. Don’t give up your breaks just because you’re not in the office.
- Stay healthy. The reason we’re all committing to social distancing is for the sake of our health and the health of others. However, eating right and exercise is still important. You’re not walking around the office like you used to. So, if possible, go out and take a 15-minute walk around your home. Do whatever you can to stay healthy.
Working from home has both pros and cons. Taking advantage of these five tips can help you grow your insurance agency right from home.
If you would like more information on how your insurance agency can respond to coronavirus, the Big I have helpful resources on pandemic office preparedness, insurance industry implications, and more.
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