The Cons of Working Remote in the Insurance Industry, Something to Consider for Your Future Greatness
The insurance industry is hiring, and with all the anticipated retirements, thousands of great jobs with fantastic career paths will be open. There may not be a better time for job seekers to find a great job. However, employers are experiencing an interesting phenomenon; they are losing local talent to remote jobs that can be located anywhere in the world, therefore, thinning out the pool of qualified talent.
Before Covid, 17% of the workforce worked from home five days a week (Source Statista.com) compared with 44% today. In addition, many companies are providing a hybrid solution where employees work a couple of days at home and the rest in the office each week. The main benefits of both scenarios include less commuting and adding to work-life balance. This is the most significant reason people want to work from home. In addition, working from home saves you money on office attire, reduces outside spending, makes you less likely to spread diseases, and allows you to live wherever you like.
This all sounds great and is for many workers. I can see why so many will automatically accept these positions without considering the cons of working from home. Indeed, working from home may be a perfect fit, depending on your job and situation. But a large percentage of the workforce never considers how a work-from-home job may affect their career path and ability to realize future goals.
Not all jobs are created equal, and work-from-home jobs are no exception. Before accepting a work-from-home job, consider some of the potential consequences of doing so:
- Your home. Is your home or apartment set up to allow you to be productive in a comfortable, quiet workspace? Do you have a separate room for an office with a door that closes? What are the distractions? Kids, roommates, animals, neighbors, noise, and many other variables are production killers. Employers typically (and shouldn’t) ask you anything about where you live ever. However, if you don’t have an idea setup to have 100% production from your home, don’t interview for work-from-home jobs because they will not be long-term.
- You may be invisible. Other than your name, phone number, and email address, your coworkers, bosses, and human resource departments will not know much about who you are as a person. Sure, they will ultimately measure you on how you perform your job duties. However, you may feel like you are on an island when you are not on a call or zoom meeting with them. I played sports my entire life and love the team aspect. Ironically, the best part of a team is learning as much as possible about your teammates so you can support and bond with them through all the ups and downs. For me, being unable to gather in an office setting and talk sports, politics, and strategies or plan weekends randomly in a break room is a huge downside.
- Technology Interpretation. Have you ever gotten a text or email from a family member and wondered why they are so mean to find out your interpretation of their message was incorrect? Happens all the time. When you meet with your manager or coworkers in an office, their nonverbal communication is more important than the spoken word. You also can ask questions for immediate feedback. Chats, emails, and text messages are “programmed” and thought-out responses leaving the end user questioning the real motive of many messages.
- Work Never Stops. This is true whether you work in an office or at home. However, sometimes it is lovely to “leave the office” and unplug. With an office in the house, you may have difficulty disengaging daily. Eliminating the commute is a huge plus for work-from-home jobs, but many will tell you that this is a great time to get fired up or unwind from the workday. At home, you may never get this break!
- Rock and Roll Career Path. During Covid, almost 90% of all workers who could work from home (40% of the workforce) did, and many never wanted to return to the office. This creates many great job opportunities for anyone who wants to go to an office. While companies are trying to figure out a happy medium using a hybrid solution, large companies (like Apple, META, etc.) are now giving current employees ultimatums to return to work or lose their job.
If you can and want to go to the office, there may not be a better time to rock your career and future. Managers like people, not emails, and I can certainly see a scenario where internal office employees will have an advantage over those working from home for promotions and future opportunities. This is just one more possible con for working from home.