As more people get vaccinated around the world, insurance carriers are weighing possibilities of cutting their real estate footprints and allowing associates to work at home more than they did prior to the COVID crisis.
“We are working through this and making sure we get to a ratio of 0.6 workspaces per person,” Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA told analysts during a recent earnings conference call when asked about lessons from AXA’s success in transferring employees to remote work arrangements with collaborative technology while continuing to provide good customer service.
“We’ve seen two extremes now—being 100 percent present and being 100 percent remote. I think all of us have experienced that, and we understand that that the two extremes is not the scenario we probably desire going forward.”
“One of our priorities is pushing what we call the ‘smart working principle,’ which is to find a good blend—because we do need to interact. We do need to make sure that the culture of AXA continues to develop.” AXA also needs to make sure that that culture “is transferred to new recruits,” Buberl said.
“On the other hand, we also want to respect the way people are more flexible in the way they work,” he said, noting that several of AXA’s offices—in Belgium and Germany, for example— have already integrated flexible arrangements into their real estate strategies, allowing people to be present on site for three days and remote for the other two.
Earlier this month, executives from Jacobson and Aon’s Ward Group, provided some more carrier input on the idea of continued remote work. Presenting results of a January survey of U.S. carriers, they revealed that more than three-quarters of carriers said they would offer occasional work-from-home options to their workforces, with 56 percent saying they would offer their employees a full-time remote option. And just over half said they would consider offering flexible work hours.
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