Working as a top P&C insurance producer may mean that you’re always on the clock. Working nights and weekends can keep you from participating in family events or dinners with your spouse. It also means you never find time for yourself. This lifestyle, though, has proven to cause issues not only at home but at work as well. Recent studies have found that people who work more than 55 hours a week are at an increased risk for a stroke, depression, and insomnia.
Not only does increased work hours impact your home life, but it also impacts your work product. Another study found that sleep deprivation caused from overworking can impact your ability to read social cues and respond in critical situations. As a producer, this could severely inhibit your ability to speak with and relate to your clients. Furthermore, a study from Stanford University found that an employee’s output drastically declines after 55 hours. In many cases, people working up to 80 hours per week don’t produce any more than co-workers working 50 hours.
How to Improve Your Personal Freedom
Traditionally, it’s a challenge to find an agency that provides freedom to schedule your own day for maxium efficiency and time use. To achieve this, you may have to ask for it or find an agency with a culture more suitable for your needs, such as an entrepreneurial agency. Here are a few of the basic requirements you should request from your employer regarding personal freedom:
- Schedule flexibility. Asking for flexibility in your schedule may seem daunting, but you’re not asking for time off or to do less work. You’re asking for the ability to leave work some days to spend time with your family for important events, which will make you a happier and more productive employee.
- Workspace If your company features an open environment that causes distractions or interruptions during client meetings, ask for the ability to use an office during client calls, or work from home when you need to finish a project. You are only asking to enhance your productivity.
- Discuss the “always on” expectation. With technology readily at our fingertips, working from home at night and on weekends has become the norm. You may feel pressure to work off hours even though your company doesn’t expect it. Speak with your boss about the need for downtime and set reasonable expectations for response times when you’re not at work or “on the clock.”
If your current agency does not consider allowing you the freedoms you need to succeed, it may be time to look elsewhere. Lifestyle or entrepreneurial agencies allow insurance producers to develop their schedules. As long as the needs of your clients and the business are being met, you can determine when to meet with clients, when to go home for the day, what to do on your lunch breaks, and when to take a vacation. In addition, lifestyle agencies traditionally offer more equity interest and stock options, no noncompetes, and increased commissions.
As you consider what success looks like for you and what your next step should be, read our complimentary ebook “The 3 Freedoms Key for Ultimate Producer Success.” In this eBook, John Tenuto, regional president of the western branch offices of Insurance Office of America Inc., takes a deeper dive and shares his knowledge of success and the “freedoms” a producer needs to achieve that success.