Remote Work: Five Winners & Losers

COVID-19 has caused a sea change in the way we will live and work in the future.  Already the impact of working remotely is significant.  Here is my take on the winners and the losers based recent observations and discussions with clients and candidates.

Winners:

  1. Inside the Beltway firms:  My WDC/Bethesda/Tysons “inside the beltway” insurance clients are now able to expand their recruiting net to entice qualified employees in the rural residential communities that, in the past, have been beyond a reasonable commuting distance to their offices. 
  2. The Bottom Line:  The compensation levels of those residing outside the beltway in communities such as Winchester, Front Royal, Fredericksburg, and even beyond in Richmond, etc. are significantly below that which firms have to pay those living inside the beltway.  The difference in compensation is at least 20%.  These savings go right to the bottom line.
  3. Rural-based Staff:  This highly qualified talent pool now has access to greater opportunities in the way of larger accounts and more sophisticated clientele.  And, if they are smart, higher pay.
  4. Empty-Nesters:  Those who do not have kids running wild in their household are huge winners as they are able to concentrate and focus on their work at home without distractions.  One of the biggest challenges of working remotely at home is maintaining focus and avoiding distractions.
  5. The Tech-Savvy:  Speaking from experience, being tech-savvy is a big advantage.  Zoom and MSFT Teams, SLACK, and other remote and collaborative online technologies require a learning curve. 

Losers:

  1. Disorganized Workers:  ADDH people struggle working in a remote environment since they are much more prone to distractions than others.  And, yes, some people are detailed, but not organized.
  2. Apartment Dwellers:  See #4 above.  Having lived in an apartment for many years, there is nothing worse than constant footsteps above you or a dog barking to throw you off your game when working at home.  Noise can be a big problem.
  3. Rural-based Agencies:  We have wreaked havoc on Virginia rural agencies recruiting many of their top staff away to the larger, higher-paying clients in the WDC metro area that offer remote work options.  Just a fact, Mom & Pop, Inc., out in the country can’t pay what a Top Ten WDC-based broker/agency can pay.  They are hemorrhaging top talent now.
  4. Large Families:  Those with lots of kids and lots of pets are having a hard time coping with the work at home environment.  With many of the schools remaining closed this situation is at a boiling point right now. 
  5. Mom & Pop Agencies:  These are becoming the big losers because most simply don’t have the in-house tech resources to implement a high-tech remote work environment.  It takes expertise and money that most small agencies either don’t have or are unwilling to part with. 

I always welcome your insights and comments.

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