The events of recent months have positively impacted the culture of Britain’s insurance industry with 62% of employees saying working from home has improved their work-life balance, according to a report from UK-based tech-for-good developer, Culture Shift.
This means, as organisations continue to make plans for their employees to return to the office almost half (48%) of those working in insurance are ‘dreading going back to the workplace.
As half of the UK’s workforce transitioned to remote working earlier this year, organisations were thrust into the spotlight with many standing by to see if they were able to make the transition seamlessly without detrimental impact on their culture. The same report also uncovered that 30% of employees in insurance said working from home has had a positive effect on their mental health, while almost one-third (33%) said sentiment towards their job has been positively impacted and 38% confirmed their relationship with their boss/employer has improved since they started working from home.
“There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in challenging times for businesses. With many teams working remotely, organisations have had to improve their communication, keeping employees informed of developments, while demonstrating empathy, and providing coaching plus support for their mental health and general wellbeing,” comments Olive Strachan MBE, founder of Olive Strachan Resources Ltd, global business woman and diversity and inclusion specialist.
“The research found that most employees have credited their organisations with having a positive culture in the current climate, with many benefitting from improvements to their productivity, overall wellbeing, creativity, work-life balance and relationships with key stakeholders, such as their employer,” continues Olive.
Remote working has long been an area of contention for many organisations, but as the transition back to work continues across the UK, employees are calling for those at the top to consider a more modernised approach.
On the positive impact of working from home on various cultural factors, the research found:
● One-third (33%) of employees in insurance confirmed lockdown/working from home has had a positive impact on their workplace culture
● One-third (33%) of employees in insurance said they feel more likely to experience something they would describe as bullying or harassment while in the workplace, compared to just 18% who feel more likely to face this while working from home
● More than one-quarter (26%) of employees in insurance confirmed working remotely has positively impacted their job motivation
● Almost one-third (32%) are receiving passive-aggressive comments less often now they’re working from home
● Creativity has improved for many, with more than one-quarter (28%) saying remote working has had a positive effect
● Trust has improved for the better with almost half (42%) confirming trust in their boss/employer has been positively impacted
● More than half (58%) said their employer/boss has asked about their wellbeing more often, since they started working from home
● Almost half (43%) are being trusted to get on with their job more now they’re working from home, meaning many are able to work autonomously without being micromanaged
On the negative effects of working from home, the research found:
● Imposter syndrome and self-doubt are rife, with more than one-quarter (28%) of employees in insurance feeling these more so working from home than they did previously
● Almost half (44%) of employees in insurance feel isolated when working from home
● Progression has been impacted for the worse, with 20% of insurance employees saying they’ve been negatively affected when it comes to promotion opportunities
● One-quarter (25%) of employees in insurance said working from home has negatively affected their training and development
“With many organisations across the country now thinking about how they can bring employees back to the office safely, we wanted to hone in on the general consensus on remote working these past few months. While there have been some minor issues, it’s generally been quite successful,” says Gemma McCall, CEO and co-founder of Culture Shift.
Gemma concludes: “Remote working has positively impacted employees’ wellbeing and is something employers should absolutely be considering as they plan for the future – especially now the success of this approach has been clearly proven.
“While there are of course some key factors organisations need to work on, like continued commitment to training and development, as well as progression, employers should be ensuring they have systems and tools in place to empower their teams to remain productive, creative and supported, even while they’re working from home.”
To see more insights uncovered by the research or to download the full ‘Maintaining workplace culture in a rapidly changing environment’ report, visit info.culture-shift.co.uk/maintaining-workplace-culture.