Remote Work in the Insurance Industry is Here to Stay, McKinsey says

Remote Work in the Insurance Industry is Here to Stay, McKinsey says

Insurance execs and hiring managers find upside in the move to remote

Daylight savings time isn’t the only permanent shift we might see this year.

An unexpected “gift” of the pandemic was the two-year experiment that moved employees out of offices and into remote work models, and the results are in.

McKinsey and Company published their study on this phenomenon with strong statistical support for making the change permanent for a handful of industries—with insurance organizations topping the list.
After analyzing more than 800 occupations and 2000 activities, the study determined that insurance professionals offer the most potential for working remotely.

Some findings were stale; no one was surprised that highly educated and highly skilled professionals are the most productive remote workers. Or that 80 percent of surveyed workers prefer working remotely. But results pointing specifically to the insurance industry were an eye-opener. It seems three-quarters of the time spent analyzing information, underwriting, and processing claims can be done remotely with zero loss of productivity. With Insurance leaders’ decision to transition jobs to the remote model permanently, this percentage was no surprise.

State Farm, for instance, acted early.

Tammi Estes, Media Specialist at State Farm, just confirmed with us that their March 2020 shift of all office roles to remote throughout the country remains in effect. The company continues to update digital technology to accommodate the company-wide transition.

Ryan Ankrom, spokesman for Nationwide, told us that 50% of Nationwide’s workforce is now working from home, 40% on a hybrid schedule, and 10% in the office. Pre-pandemic the company’s workforce was only 18% remote.

The future is closer than you think.

By 2030, claims will be 50% automated, McKinsey predicts. With the acceleration of digital innovation and development since the pandemic, combined with “the great resignation” fallout, the need for virtual employees is immediate and urgent.

Most surprising is McKinsey’s long view: we’ll see three to four times as many people working from home than before the pandemic if the current transition rate continues.

So, what’s the upside for insurance executives and hiring managers?

  • Your talent pool just exploded. Your best and brightest new employees may live several states away, but a good internet connection gets them on the job and producing right away.
  • Retaining top talent is easier. The view from the home office is looking pretty good to employees. So good that more than a quarter of those surveyed said they’d consider changing jobs if forced to return to the office. If that figure makes the hair raise on your neck, you understand why many insurance companies are racing toward remote.
  • Inclusion is simpler. Remote models help dissolve barriers to women and welcomes an entire generation of young professionals with families. The remote option also ushers in the “sandwich generation” that cares for both kids and parents, and international experts outside your regional pool.

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