Woke Politics & Grievance Culture May End Office Jobs Forever

Lots of people like the flexibility and the freedom that WFH brings. Freedom from office gossip, set lunch hours and break times, company uniforms, noisy phone calls at the next desk, or aircon systems that set temperatures too high/low etc. On the upside offices can be creative places too; there is a real value in team building and ideas being shared as well and younger staff in particular can make their mark in meetings or informal chats about new products, problem solving and so on.

But there is no doubt that we live in an era of wokery, where some people pursue their grievances and almost everyone feels offended by something they saw online. Sad but true. This survey looks at the so-called `toxic’ workplace and how it can cost insurers and brokers time and money dealing with the myriad HR problems that activists and upset staff like to debate at some length. Maybe we are moving to a remote/virtual office workplace where individuials cannot get so easily offended because they rarely encounter anyone else. 

There’s a great deal to be said for automated admin.

More than a third (35%) of those in the insurance industry have been less engaged with their job due to the company having a poor workplace culture, according to new research from Culture Shift.

The research from the impact software developer reveals the true impact absenteeism and presenteeism is having on employees and businesses across the insurance sector, with two fifths (41%) of workers saying their productivity has been impacted by toxic workplace culture. In addition, more than a quarter (29%) have taken time off due to an incident which happened at work and 29% have called in sick, costing businesses billions of pounds through lost productivity.

In fact, research from Deloitte and mental health charity, Mind, uncovered the UK’s presenteeism problem is considerable, costing employers between £26 billion and £29 billion annually.

“Our research reveals that almost half of those working in the insurance industry across the UK have experienced negative behaviour at work, with more than a third confirming toxic workplace culture has impacted their mental health. This is a concerning statistic and businesses need to address the issue before it’s too late.

“The real impact of toxic workplace culture shouldn’t be underestimated. Often, people presume that problematic behaviour only impacts those experiencing it, however our research shows otherwise,” comments Gemma McCall, CEO, Culture Shift.

Sometimes working from home is a better fit for some employees.


The research also uncovered more than a quarter (26%) of those working in the insurance industry would leave an organisation as soon as they could find a new job, if they experienced or witnessed bullying or harassment. Whilst a third (34%) would encourage a colleague to seek legal advice if they knew they were experiencing toxic workplace behaviour.

The cost of recruiting is also putting a dent in the profits of businesses nationwide as analysis reveals that nationally, on average, it costs £30,000 to recruit a new employee.

“Employees who feel valued and appreciated at work are known to thrive, work better as a team and deliver stronger results. But, in contrast, those who are working in toxic environments are more likely to be impacted by absenteeism and presenteeism,” adds Gemma.

The new nationwide study out today, also reveals that of those who have been impacted by problematic behaviour, such as bullying, harassment or discrimination at work, the average pay-out received was £381,350. While, on average, employees themselves are footing bills of £1,629 for things like therapy and legal fees.

“It’s not just the cost of legal fees and pay outs which businesses need to be aware of, but having a toxic workplace culture directly impacts the bottom line through lost working hours, having to recruit new employees and paying temporary staff to cover long term sick leave.

“In addition, problematic workplace behaviour can impact an investor’s decision on whether or not to provide funding,” continues Gemma.


Almost nine in 10 (86%) investors say if they had invested in a company that was then embroiled in a workplace bullying or harassment case, they would rapidly distance themselves from the company.

For organisations hoping to secure investment, almost three quarters (71%) confirm they wouldn’t invest in a company that had a problematic workplace culture, while two thirds (64%) wouldn’t invest in a company that has numerous NDAs with former employees.

The general reputation of a company and how it treats its employees are the two most important non-financial factors which investors take into consideration when deciding where to invest.

Ranking the most important non-financial factors investors take into consideration: 

  1. General reputation of the company (54%)
  2. Employee treatment (36%)
  3. Sustainability/environmental initiatives (36%)
  4. Relationships with customers (36%)
  5. Relationships with suppliers (32%)
  6. Workplace culture (25%)
  7. Meeting/being prepared for current/future legislation (14%)
  8. Employee churn/retention (7%)

“From appealing to investors and a business’ profitability, to the cost of recruitment and legal action, there is only one way that businesses can avoid these added costs and that’s by looking after their people,” concludes Gemma.

To access the full ‘paying the price for problematic behaviour’ report, visit https://info.culture-shift.co.uk/paying-the-price.

About alastair walker 10944 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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