Even Staff

2020-09-23

Our New Normal - Even’s Transition to a Distributed Work Environment

An HR Perspective:

 

If you would have told me a year ago, that I would be taking virtual team meetings from my small UWS apartment while scheduling team-wide online Yoga sessions, I would have laughed, said no way, and kept working away at my cozy desk in our open floor plan office. Boy, have the times changed.

 

I had only just started my career with Even in November of 2019. Being hired as their Director of Culture and Engagement was not only exciting personally from my career growth perspective, but because I was thrilled that a Series B start-up was already so focused on company culture that it invested in a resource completely dedicated to it. We were experiencing the typical start-up growth and onboarding large teams of new employees, what felt like weekly. It was exhilarating—I love building teams, programs, processes from the ground up, which is why I’ve always been drawn to start-ups. Here at Even, our constant challenge was always “where are we going to put people?” which is every start-up’s favorite problem to have. We added more desks, took over more space, and started to explore and visit new and larger office spaces to accommodate our booming growth. 

 

I’ve always been in favor of having a WFH policy as long as it was managed properly and that the manager and employee were committed to it succeeding. That being said, I must admit that I was also pretty “HR Old School” in my train of thought and felt that the majority of employees should be in an office. I bought into the data and research out there that showed in person collaboration was the key to a company’s success. I hadn’t seen anything to show me otherwise to be honest.

 

When we first made the decision to shut the office down and work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I 100% thought that we'd be back in the office in a couple of weeks. Computer accessories and personal items were left in the office (I didn’t even take home my dog’s treats and bed from the office). We quickly transitioned from in-person meetings to Google Meets….err...meets, and set up a lot of touchpoints throughout the day and week to give employees the opportunity to stay connected. It was actually fun to see the makeshift set-ups that people had orchestrated, whether in their small Manhattan apartments or homes where they were now sharing space with spouses and children (or vice versa!). I can’t speak for all, but I know I speak for many when I say that the first few weeks were tough—fears of the virus itself and trying to stay safe, compounded with fears of the failing economy and dire 24/7 news being broadcasted from every media outlet out there, as well as the normal work from home challenge of being unable to separate work from home. 

 

Over the next few weeks our team worked quickly to ensure that people had the resources/materials they needed to work from home successfully, as well as made sure that mentally, everyone was taking time for themselves. We also had to make sure employees were physically taking care of themselves as we were in the beginning throes of the pandemic. My old apartment was on West End Ave in the UWS and I can close my eyes and still hear all the ambulances going by during those early months of March/April. It became a familiar sound in my neighborhood and a constant reminder of what was going on outside of my protected walls. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our employees became our number one priority. 

 

As the weeks turned into months it became clear to all, that we weren’t going back to the office any time soon. Our Chief People Officer, Kyle Roberts, had built a “Roadmap to Return” and we started putting plans together, but with no vaccine in sight and a city still shut down, we started pushing timelines out. I attended more webinars on how to “return to the office” than I care to count! During this time though, we did notice something significant— despite being 100% dispersed, our overall productivity was affected very little. In fact, we found that most (not all) employees enjoyed being remote and were more productive as a result. That being said, we needed to ensure that people were being mindful of separating work from home and not burning out at both ends. We implemented a mandatory once-a-month mental health day for our employees to select at their own discretion (in addition to our unlimited PTO), instituted Summer Fridays, and connected to a Yoga Instructor for free once-a-week virtual classes for employees. Our managers were encouraged to make sure employees were taking breaks and utilizing these new perks to ensure they had the tools to keep their physical and mental wellbeing maintained.  

 

With the timing of a vaccine still uncertain and a timeline for the lives of our employees (as was as the world) being opaque at best, we’re just working to ensure our teammates and friends have what they require to be successful during these turbulent times. External stress factors are high, and it’s important to understand that each person is now dealing with their own variation of what a “work day” looks like. The old school HR rulebook has been thrown to the wayside and replaced by agile solutions to a variety of new situations, with it becoming more important than ever to listen to our teammates regarding what they’re feeling and thinking during all of this. That listening is what has kept our teams collaborative despite the distance between us, and has helped our team perpetuate the programs and perks that have made it still feel like we’re only a couple desks away from each other. The puppy playdates still happen, they’ve just been relocated to digital dog parks until further notice.  

Disclaimer: The material provided on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the suitability of any Even Financial product or service to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any information or statistical data sourced by Even Financial through hyperlinks, from third-party websites, are provided for informational purposes only. While Even Financial finds these sources to be accurate, it does not endorse or guarantee any third-party content

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HAVEN LIFE
Haven Life’s All-Digital Life Insurance Application Experience Launches on Even Financial’s Leading Life Insurance Search Engine
Even features the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace New York, New York – August 16, 2021 – Even Financial (“Even”), the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, has announced the launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on its life insurance marketplace platform. Leveraging machine learning and advanced data science, Even solves a significant pain point in financial services customer acquisition by seamlessly bridging financial institutions and channel partners via its industry-leading API and embeddable solutions.   With the addition of Haven Term and Haven Simple, Even has further expanded its extensive network of premium life insurance offerings, strengthening its position as the industry’s largest multi-carrier, all-digital life insurance marketplace. Haven Life, which offers Haven Term and Haven Simple, and is backed and wholly owned by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), is known for its customer-centric approach and for its commitment to making life insurance more affordable and accessible. Haven Life’s term life insurance offerings will be available on Even properties and via its wholly owned subsidiary LeapLife.   “In these uncertain times, the majority of U.S. adults want the financial security of high-quality life insurance, but are often dissuaded by the complex application process and need to complete an in-person medical exam,” said Phill Rosen, Founder and CEO of Even Financial. “Haven Life’s groundbreaking, all-digital application experience brings tremendous accessibility and peace-of-mind to consumers. We’re thrilled to welcome them to the Even platform.”   The launch of Haven Term and Haven Simple on the Even platform enables consumers to get matched with medically underwritten term life insurance policies that they can apply for and, if approved, purchase instantly online. While most Haven Term applicants will need to take a medical exam, Haven Simple applicants do not. Haven Life’s offerings expand the variety of life insurance options already available to consumers through Even’s API.   “Haven Life is committed to meeting life insurance customers wherever they are — and often, it's where they are managing the rest of their financial life," said Wade Seward, Head of Distribution Strategy at Haven Life. "On the heels of introducing even more affordable pricing for the Haven Term product, our partnership with Even Financial allows us to marry that affordability with greater accessibility to offer comprehensive financial protection to shared clients with ease and efficiency.”    Even entered the life insurance industry in 2020 through its acquisition of LeapLife, a leading insurtech and licenced life insurance agency. Since that acquisition, Even has worked with its large network of channel partners to make the process of getting personalized life insurance fast, easy, and accessible for consumers. In addition to Haven Term and Haven Simple, products offered by leading insurance companies including Lincoln Financial Group, Pacific Life, and Mutual of Omaha are available through LeapLife, Even’s life insurance platform. Companies such as TransUnion and Lantern by SoFi rely on Even’s embedded finance marketplaces to power 100% digital personalized life insurance policy quotes for their customers, with live agent support.   Even has continued its rapid growth trajectory in 2021 by reaching over $3 billion in consumer credit issued through its API and expanding its platform to over 800 partners. Earlier this year, Even was named one of “America’s Best Startup Employers'' by Forbes for 2021 and placed in the Top 50 of the 2020 Deloitte Technology Fast 500, which recognizes the fastest growing tech companies in the world.   About Even Financial   Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a B2B fintech company that is transforming the way financial institutions find and connect with consumers. As the leading search, comparison, and recommendation engine for financial services, Even seamlessly bridges financial institutions (such as SoFi) and channel partners (such as TransUnion) via its simple yet robust API and embeddable solutions. Even turns any consumer touchpoint into a comprehensive financial services marketplace with full compliance and security at scale. The company is backed by leading financial services firms and VCs, including American Express Ventures, Canaan Partners, Citi Ventures, Fidelity’s F-Prime Capital, Greatpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs, LendingClub, and MassMutual Ventures. Learn more at www.evenfinancial.com.   About Haven Life Insurance Agency   Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life) is re-thinking how people financially protect the ones they love. Haven Life is committed to delivering exceptional products, delightful purchasing experiences, and meaningful moments of service to the modern life insurance customer. Haven Term is a Term Life Insurance Policy (ICC21 Haven Term in certain states, including NC) issued by C.M. Life Insurance Company (C.M. Life), Enfield, CT 06082. In New York (DTC-NY), and California (DTC-CA), and other states, it is issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), Springfield, MA 01111-0001.    Policy and rider form numbers and features may vary by state and may not be available in all states. Haven Term is available through Haven Life Insurance Agency, LLC (Haven Life), whose agency license number in California is OK71922 and in Arkansas, 100139527. Both Haven Life and C.M. Life are wholly owned subsidiaries of MassMutual.   Please note that issuing the policy or paying its benefits depends on the applicant’s insurability, based on their answers to the health questions in the application, and their truthfulness.   MassMutual and its subsidiaries C.M. Life Insurance Company and MML Bay State Life Insurance Company are rated by A.M. Best Company as A++ (Superior; Top category of 15). The rating is as of June 1, 2021 and is subject to change. MassMutual has received different ratings from other rating agencies.   Media Contact media@evenfinancial.com    
YAHOO! FINANCE
Yahoo! Finance: Even Financial Reaches $3 Billion In Credit Issued Milestone
Even has surpassed a significant threshold in credit issued, having now facilitated over $3 billion in consumer credit as of July 2021. The milestone is significant in the financial services industry, as Even has also expanded its platform to over 800 partners.    Click below to read more at Yahoo! Finance.
PYMNTS
PYMNTS: Even Launches Embedded Finance App on Salesforce
Now, financial advisors and other businesses will have a way to leverage Even’s platform for their clients. ‘Financial Products for Salesforce’ - Powered by Even, a plug-and-play app available on the Salesforce AppExchange, matches consumers with real-time, personalized financial product offers.   Click below to read more at PYMNTS.com.