The case for remote workers: How and why to let your employees work from home

Remote workers

“Remote workers.” “Working from home.” “Digital nomads.”

No matter what you call it, it’s everywhere: a growing trend, in companies big and small, of staff working from off-site locations.

InsureSign, the e-signature software ranked No. 1 for usability, was an early adopter of remote-working policies. Throughout its seven-year history, Joe Floyd (InsureSign’s founder and CEO) has always had employees working from home.

We asked Joe a few questions about his experience with the practice: how InsureSign manages remote workers, tips for making it work best, and how you can lean on modern tools to make it work for you.

 

Tell us about InsureSign’s remote work culture.

Joe: You know, just about all of our employees work remotely at some time or another—half are remote all the time.

Some of our team works out of our main office in Charleston, but even many of them will work remotely 1-2 days a week, either from home or a local coffee shop. It offers a nice change of pace or even just lets them skip their commutes from time to time.

How long have you had a remote work policy in place?

Joe: We’ve really always been that way. Even our first two employees were remote. It’s baked into our culture, and we’ve been used to it since the very beginning.

How has this policy been good for InsureSign? What are the major benefits to employers?

Joe: It helps us find the ideal person for that job, rather than confining our search to a certain geographical area or requiring someone to relocate. There were a few things we liked to do in person when we were first building the software; it was helpful to have people sitting around the same whiteboard at that point, but since then, it hasn’t been as important.

I do think a work-from-home option increases employee satisfaction, because they know they have some flexibility. And it can boost productivity, too. Some people work best early in the day, but like to take a break in the middle of the day and work late.

Remote work goes hand in hand with the mentality of just getting the job done. Some people are more productive that way than they would be if they were forced to show up early and punch a timecard.

Also, remote work decreases our overhead. Since we don’t have to foot the bill for the rent and utilities it would require to have all of these people in the same room at the same time, we can allocate those funds somewhere else. We compensate by providing our team with the equipment they need to work productively from home.

Any tips for managing remote workers, or for getting remote workers to work well together?

Joe: Having a regular schedule of meetings (and finding the right combination of one-on-ones and team meetings) makes a big difference.

And people are quick to just go for audio calls, but video calls are often much better. It can be kind of a pain, but the face-time is worth it in the end.

If at all possible, plan or encourage your team to get together in person when you can. People travel for plenty of reasons, so we encourage our staff to grab lunch together if they’re in someone’s neighborhood—we’ll pay for it. Or maybe the whole group can travel to a central location once a year for a team gathering.

Or, if there’s a regular sales or customer event that you can send a few of your team members to, that’s a good use of resources. You don’t need to be together all the time to get that sense of cohesiveness, but connecting face-to-face when possible helps.

How does technology factor into InsureSign’s work-from-home policy?

Joe: We use a lot of tools. Slack, for example. There are more and more things out there that make it simple and effective to have people working from home.

I first started working remotely 19 years ago, well before we launched InsureSign. It was frustrating at times. The internet wasn’t as good as it is now, and neither were the communication tools, so I frequently had to go into the office anyway.

That’s not the case now. There are plenty of digital tools available that can make remote work not just doable, but highly productive.

Do you have any caveats or words of caution for employers to keep in mind as they explore a remote work policy?

Joe: I would say one thing: if you’re going to do it, you have to jump in. If you’ve got an office and you’re hiring a bunch of people to work remotely, you need to expand the practice to the rest of the office. Lean in and create a remote work culture. Get everyone on the same page. If remote workers are using digital tools or communications channels, you have to have everyone using them.
 
How are your customers using InsureSign to make remote work easier?

Joe: A lot of our customers use it to onboard remote employees, or to roll out new benefits or programs to existing employees—InsureSign can help with HR in that way, ensuring management has legally-compliant signatures from everyone, no matter where they’re based.

Also, our workflow makes it easy for people in different places to get paperwork signed and approved. If you have multiple signers and approvers who need to touch a document before it’s finalized, InsureSign makes it easy for them to manage that process seamlessly from wherever they are. It’s an excellent tool for getting work done when you have people from the same organization in different places.

Whatever your work-from-home policy is, one thing is for sure: InsureSign’s seamless, easy-to-use interface makes securing signatures from remote customers and coworkers super simple.

Try InsureSign risk-free for 14 days and start getting your documents e-signed in minutes… from wherever your customers are.

How to use InsureSign’s new integration with Applied Epic

Good news for Applied Epic users: the signing process just got easier. InsureSign, the simple eSigning software trusted by thousands of insurance professionals, is now fully integrated with the Applied Epic agency management system.

Applied Systems agencies can now enjoy a more seamless and automated signing process… plus, they can easily take advantage of the many added conveniences offered by the eSignature tool ranked No. 1 for usability.

eSignature Software - Applied Epic

Ready to give it a try? Securing signatures using this new integration is easy:

1.) From Applied Epic, visit the customer profile and upload the document you’d like signed to the “Attachments” screen.
Any file type will work.

2.) Right-click the document and select “Send to signature.”
This will open the InsureSign platform – directly from Applied Epic!

3.) “Drag and drop” your signature and information fields on top of your document.
It just takes a second. Note: No need to place fields every time, you can create one-click templates for commonly used forms.

4.) Send off to the customer for signing.
Since your customer’s information is already in the Epic system, his/her email address will auto-populate. No need to hunt down contact info or make sure it’s typed incorrectly. You can also schedule auto-reminders at this time, completely eliminating the need to prod your signer by email or phone. Once you’ve sent the form off, your signer won’t be able to submit it until every field is filled in. No more incomplete forms!

5.) Once your document is signed and returned, simply drag it back to Applied Epic to attach to the customer’s file.
And you’re done. Nothing to print, nothing to upload, nothing to file.

Plus, InsureSign has tons of “bells and whistles” designed to save you time, eliminate steps and reinforce your agency’s brand.

Curious? InsureSign offers a risk-free trial for 14 days so you can experience the difference for yourself. Get started today.

Five things we’re thankful for this Thanksgiving

We all know that Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on things we’re grateful for — and here at InsureSign, it’s a lot! 2018 has been a year of tremendous growth, success and excitement. As it comes to a close, we know 2019 will bring plenty of promising opportunities too.

Here are just a few things we’ll be reflecting on while we’re bringing our turkeys this year.

  • Being ranked as G2 Crowd’s No. 1 ranking for esignature software for usability and customer service — twice!

Four times a year, G2 CrowThankful this Thanksgivingd (the world’s leading business solutions review website) releases its seasonal report ranking esignature software. This summer, we climbed to the top of the list — and held onto that No. 1 spot for the Fall Report, too!

  • A red-letter year for new features, including the rollout of our long-awaited new premium offerings.

We’re constantly working to make it even easier for our customers to get documents signed. In 2018, we officially launched our new InsureSign Pro version, with features such as text-message signing, custom landing pages and email server integration. Plus, just in the past few months, we’ve added new innovations available for all users, such as multi-language support and the ability to recall and redo a document.

  • Growing the InsureSign team and building an even better support system for customers.

We’re grateful to the InsureSign team for making 2018 one of our best years yet. We’ve made several new hires that will have a huge impact on making the customer experience better and better in the future — including our team of developers, to which we’ve added two new developers just in the past month.

  • A year full of new integrations with leading agency management systems.

We know insurance agents rely on their AMS to keep their businesses running smoothly. Just last month, we became a Solution Partner for Applied Systems and are now fully integrated with the Applied Epic AMS. This comes on the heels of a full year of new AMS integrations, including partnerships with Hawksoft, NASA Eclipse and Partner XE AMS.

  • Lastly, we’re thankful for you.

It’s InsureSign’s customers that make all of this possible. Thanks to our tens of thousands of users for sticking with us this year — and big thanks to our many new users for letting us show you how our super simple e-signing tool can transform your business!

Women in tech: How one woman left her teaching job to become a rock-star developer for InsureSign

Women make up more than half the workforce, but less than 20% of U.S. tech jobs. It’s clear that American companies still have a lot of work to do when it comes to closing the gender gap in the tech industry.

That’s why women in tech like Amanda Schuff, a Front-End/UI Developer at InsureSign, have such compelling stories to tell. (InsureSign is a simple and secure e-signing software based in Charleston, S.C., with tens of thousands of users.)

Read on to learn more about how Amanda made the jump to a development job… and how it’s going, a year and a half later.

Q: What’s your role on InsureSign’s development team?
Amanda: I’m a front-end developer. My role is anything having to do with the user experience or the user interface. I make sure the program is intuitive, that it functions well and that it’s easy to use.

 

Q: You didn’t start your career in tech, did you? Tell us about your career before InsureSign.
Amanda: Before I started with working with InsureSign, I was an elementary art teacher. I did that for three years.

Q: Interesting! What was it that compelled you to make that shift?
Amanda:
I’ve always had a passion for it. I was always just the “tech person” in my family — I had a knack for it, and had the interest. I didn’t really have a mentor, though. A lot of people in tech have someone guiding them along the way. That wasn’t really the case for me, so when I went to college (the first in my family), I didn’t really know what I was doing.

I was a teacher for three years and got burned out really fast. I was exploring other options, like getting a master’s or another undergraduate degree, and that’s when I heard about the development boot camp I ended up doing.

Q: And now you’ve been with InsureSign for a year and a half. What originally drew you to InsureSign?

Amanda: Joe [InsureSign founder Joe Floyd] and Kris [InsureSign’s lead developer Kris Gholson] were really trying to build something from the ground up. Insuresign had a desktop application that it wanted to move onto the web, and that’s something I focused on in my boot camp.

InsureSign ticked all of my “must-have” boxes: it’s a small company and very employee-focused. I loved the idea of building something from scratch — making something really good and making it quickly. Because we’re a small team, we’re able to do a lot.

Q: What do you like about working here now? What’s unique about InsureSign?

Amanda: To me, the environment and the culture are really great. I came from the education sector, where everything is very traditional and clearly defined in terms of what you can or shouldn’t do. Tech isn’t like that, and InsureSign, in particular, is laidback and flexible.

We have fun and the small team environment is wonderful. We have a great application that we’ve been able to bootstrap together, and we have great relationships with each other. Plus, Joe is the best manager I’ve ever had. He lets us have a lot of input.

Q: Any tips for women looking to make the jump into tech, especially those currently in other fields?

Amanda: Don’t be afraid or intimidated! You’re already a working professional in your own right. Those skills will easily translate over to anything you want to do, tech or otherwise. It’s never too late to start over or start fresh!

Take Amanda Schuff’s application, InsureSign, for a test drive. Claim your risk-free 14-day trial here.

Going Pro: Is it time to upgrade to InsureSign’s new eSignature premium plan?

You already rely on InsureSign to secure an eSignature fast from your customer. But did you know you can use our software to attract customer reviews, grow your social media following and save precious time?

It’s true. InsureSign’s “Pro” version makes it easy for businesses to connect with customers in new ways and save on even more administrative time.

Interested? With the new premium features, you can:

Get your documents signed via text message: We all know that person who prefers to only communicate via text. InsureSign allows you to send documents for an eSignature via his preferred communication method: his SMS messages. Learn more.

Secure more reviews and social-media followers: With InsureSign, you can direct your customers to any landing page, like Facebook or Yelp, immediately after signing – making it easy for people to engage right away, while you’re still top-of-mind. Learn more.

Save time with Gmail and Outlook integration: Entering email addresses manually can be frustrating and tedious. With email integration, you can connect your Gmail or Outlook contacts and import them directly into InsureSign, eliminating manual entry and saving yourself unnecessary work. Learn more.

Get your documents digitally signed in-person: If you’re a regular InsureSign user, you know how much easier eSigning is than the old print-sign-scan process. Now, you don’t need to make exceptions for in-person meetings… or wait while your client opens her email. Use InsureSign to instantly secure digital signatures in-person. Learn more.

Ready to give InsureSign a try? Upgrade to the Pro plan.

Getting Started with an eSignature Software 101

Hate wasting time printing, faxing, and mailing documents to secure a “John Hancock?” Have you waited hours, days or weeks for someone to sign your documents, only to get it back with one signature missing on page four? Dread following up about unsigned documents and want to do it without being annoying?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it might be time to switch to an eSignature software.

The transition process is faster & simpler than you think. Ready to get started? Here’s how.eSignature Software 101

1: Try before you buy. For example, InsureSign, a leading esignature software, offers a free, 14-day, no-credit-card-required trial for one or multiple users.

2: Set up for your first document for signing in one minute. Instantly set up your document for e-signing by uploading it to the web-based InsureSign. Then, simply “drag and drop” signature fields where you’d like them.

3: Send off your e-document for signing & secure signatures in minutes. Once sent, your customer is instantly notified and can sign your documents from anywhere using a tablet, computer, or mobile device (including via text message). No more waiting hours, days, or weeks for signed forms.

With InsureSign’s easy-to-use web-based platform, getting started with an esignature software is ridiculously easy. Plus, you’ll save time with scheduled auto reminders, auto-archiving and more. Also, you’ll never again receive a document missing a signature (InsureSign makes it impossible for your clients to submit incomplete forms).

Give InsureSign a try risk-free for 14 days. You’ll be up and running in minutes.

4 reasons InsureSign is the easiest eSignature tool to use.

 1. The easiest document set-up. With InsureSign‘s eSignature tool, you simply send your document (of any file type) to the virtual InsureSign printer and it’s instantly converted into one that can be eSigned.  eSignature tool

2. Simple “drag and drop” signature fields. Where do you want initials? Signatures? Information fields? Drag fields, drop them, enter the recipient’s email and hit send!

3. Easy signing from any device and via text message. Do business while you’re on the go. Even your least tech savvy customers will say, “That’s so easy!”

4. Automatic time-saving features. All of your signed documents are automatically backed up and stored with complete audit trails; and you can schedule automatic emails to your customers reminding them to sign.

Are you ready to switch to the industry’s simplest eSignature tool to get your documents signed?  Try InsureSign for yourself. Start your free trial, no credit card required.

Six Memorable Moments from Applied Client Network’s Applied Net 2016

We’ve been Applied Client Network’s Silver Benefit Partner for a few years now, and always look forward to the association’s annual conference.

Our principal, Joe Floyd, and our director of customer happiness, JP Peek, jetted off to Orlando last week to spread the word about InsureSign’s simple & secure e-signature software at Applied Net 2016.

This year’s conference was the best yet, and JP had many memorable moments to share with you:

  • Moment 1: The Opening of the Exhibit Hall. When the hall opened, we literally had agents lined up to speak with us, which was the perfect start to an amazing few days for us in Orlando.
  • Moment 2: Our Customers as Brand Ambassadors. What a great moment when we saw our customers showing other attendees how to e-sign via mobile at our booth. We couldn’t ask for better customers. We can’t thank them enough for showing other attendees how our software works! 
  • Moment 3: Hearing Our Customers’ Ideas. Our time at conferences isn’t just about talking with prospective InsureSign users, it’s equally as important to us to connect in person with current customers. Our users are amazing, they come to us with their ideas for new software features and tell us ways they’re getting the most value from InsureSign.  Their insights and ideas are invaluable.
  • Moment 4: Happy Customers, Happy Life. It’s great seeing the happiness that our customers get from InsureSign, so every person who connected with us to share their joy was a moment we won’t forget.
  • Moment 5: Hearing Captain Sully’s Speech. The conference’s keynote speaker was none other than Captain “Sully” Sullenberger, the retired airline captain who safely executed an emergency landing in the Hudson River. All seats were filled, and we were fortunate to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear him speak.
  • Moment 6: Going Out with a Bang. The Applied Net conference always ends with a fabulous party. In Orlando, the closing party was at House of Blues. Lots of great music, dancing and laughing while in good company.  Applied Client Network sure knows how to end an event!

 

 

4 Things You Might Not Know About InsureSign

Did you know that the national animal of Scotland is the unicorn? Or that there are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach in the world? Or that a strawberry isn’t really a berry? Reading some astounding facts like these got us thinking about what people might not know about InsureSign. Sure, you might know that it’s an easy-to-use e-signature solution that cuts costs and increases productivity, but did you know the four facts below?

  1. It’s not just for insurance agencies. InsureSign was designed with the unique needs of insurance agencies in mind, but companies in other industries have since caught on to how this powerful e-signature solution can benefit them too. We’re proud to count financial institutions, a chain of children’s dentistry offices, a recording studio and others among our thousands of customers.
  2. It’s ridiculously simple to use. While InsureSign was created by some very tech-savvy individuals, you don’t need a degree in computer science (or anything close to it) to use the solution. InsureSign was designed to be easy to use for every employee on your team and all of your customers, even those who aren’t proficient in using or are intimidated by modern technology.
  3. We have a hands-on approach to service. Once you sign up for InsureSign, our signature White Glove Service gives you a designated support rep who will personally walk you through setting up your first document for e-signing, adding users, creating templates and much more. Unlike many e-signature solutions, with InsureSign, you have a dedicated customer service rep who is always just a phone call away.
  4. We like to have fun. Some of our most fun times are when we have the opportunity to meet and chat with our incredible customers at trade shows and other industry events. We love connecting names with faces, and it’s where we get our best product ideas. But we also like to have a good time outside of a professional setting too. For example, we’re betting that you really didn’t know that JP Peek, our head of customer happiness, likes to tear it up in the water and is a star on a jet ski.

And here’s one more thing you might not know: you can enjoy InsureSign on us for 30 days by signing up here.

5 Things We Love About InsureSign’s First 5 Years

5th BirthdayHAPPY BIRTHDAY to us! InsureSign is now in its fifth incredible year of providing an easy-to-use e-signature solution for insurance agencies. This milestone has us reminiscing and reflecting on all of the happenings from the day we first opened our doors until today, and it’s brought back so many great memories. While it’s hard to play favorites, here are the five things the InsureSign team has loved most about our first five years:

  1. Helping people save time. Over the years, we have helped insurance professionals close countless deals in mere minutes from anywhere. For InsureSign customers, there’s no more scanning, printing, faxing and waiting days – or possibly even weeks – for documents to be returned. And we’re happy to be a part of helping our customers save their customers time too, allowing them to sign documents in minutes on any device.
  2. Making document signing worry-free. Every document signed with InsureSign has a complete audit trail, so it’s easy to tell where a document has been and when. That means no more concerns about a document holding up in court. E-signed documents also don’t carry the same risks as paper documents when it comes to being lost or destroyed. Our team really loves eliminating those worries for our customers.
  3. Saving agencies money. It’s hard not to like saving people money, which is why this had to be on our five-year favorites list. Over the years, InsureSign has helped insurance agencies save money on pricey paper-signing processes and supplies, including paper, printer ink, couriers, certified mail delivery and paper file management.
  4. Helping agencies go green. Eliminating the paper and printer ink associated with paper-signing isn’t just cost-effective, it’s eco-friendly too. InsureSign is proud to be a part of insurance agencies’ efforts to go green, allowing them to reduce waste, consume fewer resources and cut back on documents being transported by gas-guzzling vehicles.
  5. Our amazing customers. Talking about InsureSign’s first five years wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our incredible customers. We have been so fortunate to establish some wonderful friendships along the way. And we are so grateful to all of our customers who have given us feedback on InsureSign, helping us to improve our solution and making it the best e-signature software for insurance agencies.

From the entire InsureSign team to all our thousands of customers, thank you for a fabulous first five years! And here’s to many more years of e-signature innovations!