Providing producers and employees the ability to work remotely and with flexibility is no longer an accommodation that an agency principal or carrier executive generously grants out of the goodness of their hearts. Rather, remote, flexible work is now a competitive advantage.

It's a route to make an agency or carrier more appealing as a workplace. It's a way to be more cost-efficient as an operation, and a way to diversify geographically and get closer to clients. It's a method to vie for the attention of young and upcoming professionals — a vital task given the reluctance of millennials to join the insurance industry. Last but not least, it's a way to retain experienced professionals and keep them engaged rather than letting them ride off into the sunset never to be seen again.

Proactive collaboration

Remote work isn't for everyone. But it can be a plus for many workers, owners and clients. Some 3.67 million people in the U.S. (not including the self-employed) are "teleworkers," calling home their primary place of work, according to research from The number of people who regularly work at home increased by 103% from 2005-2014.

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