Navigating the Pros and Cons of Remote Work

Lessons Learned From Remote Working

Extra effort to connect and communicate is key to remote-working relationships.

Woman participates in a web conference on her desktop computer

By Leah Ohodnicki, Head of Specialty Programs

For me, as a permanent remote-working employee, the line between work and home has always been blurred. The past 18 months have blurred this line even more. Here are some insights I’ve gleaned over this time.

New routines

I try to start my weeks “fresh” by meeting with my direct reports every Monday morning. The first ten minutes of our calls are strictly social, catching up on the weekend and exciting plans for the week. With a team that’s always been virtual, we’ve found this time to connect with one another personally is key to building relationships and a sense of belonging. In the past, these calls were just conference calls. Transitioning to video calls has been a huge benefit for our team.

Broker relationships deepened

Last year ended up being pivotal in terms of relationship development because, believe it or not, we got more “face time” with our clients. Without all the travel, busy leaders were at their desks and more willing than ever to take a call. Before the pandemic, we aimed to connect with focus producers once a quarter for formal catch-ups. Now, I’m connecting with my key relationships weekly in some cases and monthly for most.

Balancing benefits of the last year and looking forward to what’s next

Working from home has been a blessing in many ways. I’ve grown closer to my kids and family, and I appreciate that. But I do miss building relationships through shared experiences and face-to-face connections. I’ve recently traveled to meet with some key trading partners and found these in-person meetings are now memorable for them because their calendars are mostly virtual meetings. Right now, face-to-face meetings are a refreshing change of pace.

Still missing that office environment

The thing I miss most at Argo since we’ve been working remotely is the chance encounters. In my career, I’ve found some of the best ideas are generated during unplanned conversations that happen organically. You visit an office, run into someone at the coffee machine and strike up a conversation. Next thing you know, you’re scheduling a meeting later in the day to dig into an idea or work through a problem that you wouldn’t have known was a problem had it not been for that cup of tea (I don’t drink coffee). I hope when we return to the office , we can still find a way to create these opportunities to connect.

Learn more about Life at Argo and working at Argo Group.

Default Title

Default Copy