How did your office have to adapt to this new COVID-19 environment?

How did your office have to adapt to this new COVID-19 environment?

How did your office have to adapt to this new COVID-19 environment?

We spoke to Rich Tripp, Managing Partner at Avon-Dixon Insurance Agency.

Rich Tripp: We were able to move the entire company (68 folks and three locations) to a remote environment, 90% almost overnight. The remaining 10% took a few days longer because some folks live in areas without good internet connectivity, and some had other automation related issues.

It hasn’t been a one size fits all approach. From phone connectivity to automation, it’s been amazing for us to watch the changes. For instance, something we’ve seen is the dropoff in the need to print anything. I mean, we are an insurance agency. We are paperless, although paperless does not necessarily mean paperless. But in this environment, it suddenly became amazingly clear that you can really do things without paper. The big printers that we have back in the office that were busy every day have been sitting there, mostly silent, probably 99% of the time.

Something else–before this situation, I’d been on multiple video conferences, tele and zoom meeting type things. But they weren’t really my thing, and I never set one up. Now I probably have two to four a day. I mean, it does get a little old, but one of the takeaways is that we can do a lot of things without having people get in the car and drive places. We understand now that we can have an all company-wide meeting and it’s very effective without everyone having to drive to Mary’s Ct. here in Easton from wherever they are.

As for going forward, we are in no hurry to rush back to the offices. Governor Hogan said the other day, ‘if you can work remotely, you should continue to work remotely.’ So that’s what we’re doing. Anyway, I don’t anticipate a significant return to the office until probably in the fall. And even then, because of the nature of what we do, we can do it in this remote environment. We may not stay in the same kind of emergency status, but we don’t need to do things the same way we were before. That’s been the biggest takeaway: This remote working can be not just effective, but actually highly effective, and that was a big eye-opener for me.