Insurance was born in coffee houses, most notably one owned by Edward Lloyd, where colleagues created ways to economically respond to catastrophes. The organic nature of in-person meetings has provided solutions not only for the industry, but also created platforms for human connection and personal branding.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a disrupter, with tremendous impact to the global workforce. While most in the insurance industry were able to pivot quickly to work from home, the whiplash caused by the pandemic rollercoaster has resulted in measurable mental health trauma. Productivity remained generally high by insurance professionals; policies were brokered and underwritten, and claims were managed. After two years without returning to a commercial office, the “Great Resignation” has demonstrated to employers that flexibility surrounding the location of work is a top priority.
Of note, a Deloitte Access Economics workplace survey of an Australian telecom company found that 90% of respondents believe hybrid work improved their mental health, while 83% said the same for their physical health—“hybrid” being the operative word.
Tech giants are continuing to lease office properties in major cities, which indicates that while employees still see the value of in-person interactions, they individually wish to set the terms in which they return to a communal office. The insurance industry, like most with the capabilities of having remote employees, experienced talent moving out of cities for economic and personal reasons. While competition for strong talent in insurance remains fierce, the default for many companies is to allow employees to continue to work from home full time. But is this really a good thing? Would more communication surrounding the potential impact of fully remote work and the benefits of in-person interactions, planned and organic, provide a better path forward for individuals and companies?
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