July 5, 2022

Build “Quiet Time” Blocks into the Claim Unit’s Schedule

A huge barrier to adjuster productivity is interruptions. Adjusters may suffer from ADD, but their natures are likely only partly to blame. The texture of the customary claims environment fosters adjusters having the attention span of a gnat. How does the manager or supervisor boost claim productivity and fight this obstacle?

Tip: Consider instituting defined blocks of “quiet time” within the claims office. Odds are that the claim staff is often interrupted by phone calls from …

• claimants,
• policyholders,
• attorneys,
• vendors,
• medical providers,
• business associates.
• well-meaning co-workers

Plus, there are the ever-present meetings. And Zoom calls in the work-from-home/Covid era.

All these interruptions drain the claim operation of efficiency and make the claim backlog snowball. One way to help the claim staff survive and catch up is to build in and institute as an office practice limited blocks of “quiet time.”

Despite those who champion the concept of quiet time, do not be surprised if it is an uphill battle in championing the idea in the claims office. Perhaps few claim offices use it. One approach is for the claim office to assign the same one hour of time each day – say, 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM.

Another option: allocate larger blocks of time less frequently. For example, the workers compensation unit might have quiet time of 2 PM to 4 PM every other Monday. The commercial property claims unit might have it from 10 AM till noon every other Wednesday.

The idea is that these time chunks will give adjusters and everyone on the claim staff the opportunity to get organized and work efficiently.

During quiet time, adjusters are not required to take phone calls or respond to “normal” interruptions. If you have people who can cover for them, that is ideal. If not, take a message or funnel the calls into voice-mail, to be retrieved and returned promptly when the quiet hour is over.

If a claim matter is urgent, the claim staff should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate this.

Giving the claim staff quiet time may not only boost productivity and work quality, it may also improve morale and contribute to your quality of workplace. This helps the ability to attract and retain high-quality claims talent.

Have you or your claims office ever experimented with a block of time cordoned off for adjusters focusing on “deep work,” relatively free of interruptions?

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