Zurich Insurance and Metromile are among a number of industry companies that have plotted post- COVID returns to the office. Like the others who have recently disclosed their plans, they are doing so gradually with a focus on making work commutes voluntary.
With COVID-19 still a fast-evolving concern, companies are also limiting the amount of people in the office as they hash out viable hybrid work routines.
Employees started to move into the insurer’s new Swiss corporate headquarters – the Quai Zurich Campus, in July, though employees can do so voluntarily, according to spokesperson Wendy Donahue. Capacity is limited to 25 percent for the time being to ensure compliance with Switzerland’s health guidelines.
Zurich’s renovated headquarters was designed to encourage flexible working before COVID-19, with zones that promote teamwork and areas that allow employees to work quietly, as well as traditional workplace spaces. As well, the insurer is heading toward a hybrid home/office work routine. In the future, the insurer is turning toward hybrid working models, and the insurer plans to be sensitive with employees, knowing that their current attitudes about returning to the office varies widely. Plans call for making adjustments as needed, based on employee feedback and the current COVID situation.
For Zurich North America, small numbers of employees have been working at its headquarters throughout the pandemic. The company’s offices have been available more broadly to employees at reduced capacity since June, starting at 20 percent capacity at first and then 50 percent in July. As in other parts of Zurich, employees can continue to choose where they work.
The California-based digital insurance platform and pay-per-mile auto insurer is planning to use its post-COVID return to the office as an opportunity to make its work environment more equitable and inclusive, according to spokesperson Rick Chen.
Metromile employs more than 300 people who are currently working remotely from more than 20 states. With that in mind, the company’s return to the office is designed to be “all encompassing” with “equitable benefits and perks” with reimagined employee engagement, technology and other changes, Chen said.
Currently, Metromile is in Phase 1 of a three-phase plan for office occupancy. Employees are encouraged to work remotely “until further notice.” In-office work isn’t discouraged but offices are limited to employees only and no more than 25 percent capacity. The three-phase opening plan is designed to cover office occupancy, remote/hybrid work schedules and more, Chen said.
Sources: Zurich Insurance, Metromile