The Keenan Blog

Timely and informative posts written by our experts.


Remote Work Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Solution

August 19, 2021 by Kevin Knopf

We are in the new era of hybrid and remote workplace models, and it is incredible. All of our problems are solved. Employees can multitask, getting their laundry done while completing work tasks online, and connect with coworkers and customers through Zoom or Microsoft Teams (or any other similar platform). It is the best thing since sliced bread! Side note: I am not a fan of sliced bread.

I know this because I have read it everywhere. The Washington Post wrote about it in August in the article Remote Work Should Be A Permanent Employee Benefit. In June, an editorial in the Los Angeles Times titled We’ve Discovered We Can Work From Home; There’s No Turning Back talked about it. Every time I open my LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter feeds, I am bombarded with how this new era will change everything for the better, how managers should engage and motivate these remote employees, and how this will solve recruitment and retention challenges for employers.

But not really.

We need to maintain the workplace. More importantly, we need to retain the resources that are required to maintain in-person workplaces. From office supplies and workstations to loss control programs and emergency disaster plans, we risk losing focus on necessary infrastructure when the entire dialogue is targeted on work-from-home models.

Keenan’s clients are predominately public schools, public agencies, and health care organizations. When looking specifically at these types of employers, it is immediately apparent that most of their employees cannot perform their job functions remotely. These are the frontline providers of services to our communities, and they have to be physically present to provide most of these services. Of course, so many other job classifications can only offer their services in-person; grocery store employees, auto mechanics, construction workers, print houses, and a never-ending list of other jobs need to be performed by in-person employees.

So while discussions on remote worker resources and strategies for managing remote workers are merited, we cannot let that discussion eclipse the needed in-person needs for employers and employees.

Keenan has never waivered on the need to focus on the critical support services needed for our clients. Our Loss Control department has continued to assist our clients with addressing employee injury and safety concerns and helping to mitigate that risk through innovative training programs. That includes our IMReady team that has been actively assisting clients with emergency operations plans, threat and physical security assessments, and many other safety programs. Our Special Education Academy offers our school clients a series of presentations designed for school administrators, special education administrators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and related services personnel whose roles involve special education. These presentations help identify best practices for the unique requirements of educating and protecting students and teachers (and other support staff) in the special education environment. Many of our school district clients have ongoing needs for construction on campuses, and Keenan administers the Statewide Educational Wrap Up Program (SEWUP), the largest rolling construction insurance program for California public educational agencies with billions in insured values to date.

These are all just some of Keenan’s focus on the in-person needs of our clients. There are so many more. So while there is an increased focus on the needed work-from-home resources, please remember the employers and employees that need to be physically present for their jobs. Follow Keenan on LinkedIn for trending topics, insurance resources, and more news about what we are up to. And for some short safety tips, check out our popular Safety Shorts Video Cartoon series for good advice (and even a little laugh).

About Kevin Knopf
Kevin is Keenan's Assistant Vice President of Marketing Communications and assists with authoring and distributing information on insurance industry trends, legislation, and regulatory issues that may have an impact on Keenan's clients. You can connect with Kevin on LinkedIn.