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    By Emma Weiss, on 22 Mar 2022

    The best of both: why hybrid working is the new normal for insurance firms

    It might be in a shed, or a kitchen. It could be in a high-rise, or a shared communal space. Post-pandemic, your desk is probably both at home…and in an office. Hybrid working is gaining popularity as brokers and back office staff return to their city offices, but on a part-time basis.

    According to a survey of the Lloyds and Companies Markets by Accenture and Munich Re Specialty Group, 40 per cent of respondents said their firms had zero remote-working provisions before Covid. This has changed, with many more firms adopting a remote or hybrid working model.

    Here, we look at why hybrid working is effective, what effect it has on both employees and firms, and how cloud-based systems are facilitating this shift in working practices.

    Why cloud-based tech benefits hybrid working
    Hybrid working works, but only with the right technology.  Firms need flexibility and scalability, as well as tight security, especially when it comes to client information. Cloud infrastructure can offer this. IT running costs are minimised and tech enhancements can be made quickly, plus system lag and down times are reduced.

    “gpm’s products are all cloud-based, which means everything works, with no loss to productivity,” explained Sarah Carpenter, Operations Director. “For brokers, our cloud-based modular apps give them the flexibility to build contracts, their way. Accurate data capture helps mitigate underwriting risk, drives efficiencies and meets audit and compliance requirements”.

    For those in the back office, gpm’s systematic cloud-based approach enables electronic placement and improves the accuracy of underwriting, ensuring consistent data capture. This means it is easy to quote, place business and manage claims quickly and efficiently, without the risk of any detail falling through the gaps.

    Who benefits from hybrid working?
    “At gpm, we currently offer a mix of home and office working,” said Sharon Stanley, Managing Director. “We’re already seeing positive benefits, with everyone in our team experiencing a better work-life balance. Our people seem happier, and this will have a tangible knock-on effect on staff retention.”

    Face to face interaction is vital when it comes to client relationships. Hybrid working gives gpm’s brokers the option to meet clients face to face when needed. “Talking to clients and colleagues in real life is good for the soul, and good for business,” explained Sharon. “We will continue to work flexibly, conducting client facing meetings on a regular basis.”

    For insurance firms, there is an obvious benefit to reducing real estate costs by shrinking the amount of office space needed.  However, in the Accenture survey, reducing costs only came third on the benefits list. “Better work-life balance for staff” and “higher employee satisfaction” were rated more highly by the firms surveyed.

    “Another great bonus of hybrid working has been the chance to offer roles to those who don’t live close to the office,” explained Sharon. “This has allowed us access to a wider talent pool, boosting diversity and extending our reach.”

    How the insurance industry is suited to remote work
    Which industries are likely to continue to work from home in the future? A recent McKinsey Global Institute analysis looked at the potential for long-term remote work, focusing on the “time spent on different activities within occupations”. The study found that remote work potential is concentrated in a few sectors, with finance and insurance having the highest potential. Three quarters of workers’ time is spent on activities that can be done remotely, without a loss in productivity levels.

    Shed, kitchen or city office; it seems with the right cloud-based tech, location doesn’t matter. There is huge potential for the insurance market to become market leaders in hybrid working practices, with all the benefits that brings to employees and to businesses.

    Contact gpm today and discover the right cloud-based solution for your business.

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