By David DeMoss
The COVID-19 pandemic has almost reached its one year mark. Of all of the changes that have occurred in response – big and small – one of the most studied and notable adaptations is the shift of workplaces from office to home.
A July 2020 Chubb survey found that nearly 74% of workers said they want to continue working from home more frequently than they did before the COVID-19 shutdown. Additionally, 37% of Americans working from home reported being more productive. With that being said, there are cons to working from home that are important to understand in order to maintain or increase your productivity away from the office. See below for a countdown of the “7 Deadly Sins of Working From Home,” created by Bryce Sanders.
Why it’s a bad idea: You look unprofessional. You don’t have the wow factor that clients experience when visiting your office – big building, someone bringing them coffee. A better-dressed competitor making a Zoom call can suddenly look like a step up from you.
You gained two hours by not commuting. At last, you have the time to implement a social media strategy. Unfortunately, you default to scheduled postings from the firm’s approved article archive and clicking “Like” a few times when reviewing others’ posts.
Why it’s a bad idea: You are missing an opportunity. Instead of being passive and reactive, you can be proactive, building your name recognition and growing your network. One of your goals is to be the first name in your connections’ mind when they say: “I have a question involving insurance.”
5. Lack of Discipline
When you were in your office, you had a routine. You time-blocked. You scheduled reviews. You attended sales training meetings. You earned CE credits. Working from home might not have the same discipline. The weekend chores might become daily chores, especially if your family thinks you are not really working.
Why it’s a bad idea: Business falls through the cracks. You forget to call about assets coming due. A client leaves a message on your office phone. You don’t check. They call again, wondering why they haven’t heard from you. You are playing catch-up.
Annuitized business is a double-edged sword. You get paid regardless of how often or rarely you call clients. It’s tempting to not call clients, or to rationalize, “I called once. They said they were fine.”
Why it’s a bad idea: Competitors are prospecting. A leading question is, “When did you last hear from your advisor?” Calling your clients lets them know you are thinking about them.
Over time your clients will pass away. Shorter-term, others will move to another state, wanting a face-to-face relationship near their new home. Competitors are prospecting you best clients.
Why it’s a bad idea: You need to be prospecting. If you are working from home, many prospects are, too. Many are lonely. They are spending more time on social media. Reading emails. Answering phone calls.
Not from your job. It pays too well. It’s the feeling [like] you are currently treading water, waiting for life to come back to normal. You’re waiting for the “Big Bang” when the firm will say: “Everyone back to the office. Masks off. The virus is history now.”
As a professional working from home, it appears you don’t have your branch or sales manager looking over your shoulder. It’s tempting to work when you feel like it, while talking a good game on the weekly team video calls.
One More Deadly Sin: Greed
This is the most dangerous.
If your actions are not in the client’s best interest, compliance will catch you; your client will catch you; your client’s accountant will catch you, and your client’s lawyer will catch you.