Our Top 3 Longer-Term Impact Strategies For Working From Home And Supervision
Maintaining communication with remote workers is essential. It is unfortunately too easy to allow communication to reduce on an ongoing basis, and there is no easy way to replace the interaction that occurs in the office.
Whilst it may be true to say that the office contains distractions (as does working from home) and a degree of communication is not necessary for the firm to function, the firm will have established its identity through the daily interaction between colleagues.
The culture of the firm is built up from a number of factors, and supervisors and colleagues being able to interact will play a significant part in the development of the firm.
2. AD-Hoc Supervision
Probably one of the most concerning issues for Insurers as they look at firms as a ‘risk’, is that remote working does not lend itself well to ad hoc supervision that occurs from the team being together, allowing supervisors to be able to listen to what is going on and spot or highlight an issue from the debate and discussions that are evident in the working environment.
It is very difficult, if not impossible to recreate this positive aspect of office life, but firms will need to try and they will need to encourage their staff to ask questions and involve themselves in debate, even if this does mean adopting a different approach to colleague and supervisory interaction.
3. Formal Supervision
From a risk perspective Insurers and the SRA expects firms to monitor the work being performed and supervise the adviser. That becomes more difficult from a remote perspective as it is harder to see what is happening and direct interaction is more difficult.
This problem is intensified when systems are not fully paperless or fee earners are not using the system to its full effect and not posting all correspondence to file history, enabling file reviews and spot audits.
For firms who have been reliant on the general office-based interaction as part of their supervision structure, they will need to turn to more formality to ensure supervision is managed effectively and can be evidenced.
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It is hoped this article has highlighted some of the areas that firms may wish to consider.
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