Back to The Office - What’s Your Strategy?
22 July 2021
As insurers either contemplate or execute their back to office strategies, they do so with a bit of uncertainty given the rise of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. However, even with that cloud of uncertainty overhead many are continuing to push forward or are initiating their back to the office strategies. In doing so insurers have a number of options to consider including bringing everyone back, staying completely virtual or taking a hybrid approach.
Celent recently sent out a SNAP poll regarding back to the office plans to some of our North American members of the Celent executive research panel. This panel is comprised of insurance industry executives and we received over thirty responses with the few days the poll was open. A sample of the questions asked:
- What percentage of the workforce do you currently have reporting into the office?
- What percentage of your company’s workforce will be reporting into the office by year end 2021?
- What will your company’s long-term working model look like in 2022?
- If your company is going to be maintaining a hybrid model what are the conditions?
- If you are planning to stay hybrid beyond 2021, what percentage of employees do you expect to be working from the office on any given day?
- What challenges are you currently realizing or anticipate dealing with as you continue to open your work from the office plans?
I found it a bit of a surprise that on average our poll participants only had 15 percent of the workforce back in the office as of the mid-year mark. As we hear about the world opening up and summer travel currently at pre-pandemic levels I was anticipating a higher number. But then again this is the world of insurance where weighting the risk factors are paramount! However, several mostly mid-sized insurers did indicate they will have 90-100 percent of their workforce back in the office by year end 2021.
In speaking with insurers throughout the term of the pandemic many larger insurers had decided to downsize their corporate footprint. So, it wasn’t a surprise that many of the larger insurers who responded expect to retain a hybrid working model on a go forward basis. There are slight differences in many of the hybrid plans, where some are setting days for employees to come into the office where others are providing the employees with choice options as an example.
Bringing employees back to work won’t be without its set of challenges. As we are seeing in the news employees that have been virtual throughout the pandemic have become comfortable working from home and just as comfortable taking a stand when being asked to come back to the office. Just the time saved door-to-door at the beginning and end of a workday is a very significant savings for some making for a vastly improved work/life balance. Based on feedback from our poll, insurers are acutely aware of this fact. When asked about what challenges participating insurers are either currently or anticipate facing, this was the response …
Fascinating results to say the least and if you are wondering how your counterparts in the insurance industry are thinking about back to the office strategies paste the following link in your browser to see all the results of our SNAP poll: