IIG News

Is the hybrid work model becoming the new normal? Why is flexibility so important?

Discovery Insure recently launched the Work From Home Index which tracks the number of trips clients make to their work locations. It provides insights into the driving patterns of our clients to give an indication of how often South Africans have been travelling to work and how this has changed since February 2020.

The Work From Home Index relies on access to 15 billion km in telematics driving data which provides Discovery Insure the unique ability to assess driving patterns between work and home.

The index reveals that around 80% of clients are now working at their work locations again. Data also shows that a large percentage of Discovery Insure clients are not going in to work consistently on the same days each week. The average number of days that people are going into their work location is three days. This indicated that more workers are enjoying increased levels of flexibility during their workday.

The hybrid work model means that workers have the freedom to choose where and when they do their best work, leading to increased productivity and efficiency. This is because the flexibility puts the employee experience first and boosts employee happiness and well-being.

On the other hand, working in the office provides social interactions, a collaborative environment and integration with company culture. It also addresses the problem of how some employees might feel isolated while working at home and can mitigate the increased risk of burnout due to potentially working longer hours and taking shorter breaks.

It’s about striking a balance between in-person collaboration and at-home convenience to create the best environment for employees.

Businesses who embrace this new way of working will attract and retain the best talent – talent who now rank remote working as one of their priorities when seeking a job. This is especially true as many industries, including the insurance industry, go through rapid digitisation and technological evolution. A study by McKinsey showed that the finance and insurance sector has the highest potential for remote work, with three-quarters of working time being spent on tasks that could be done remotely without affecting productivity 

It is also important for businesses to recognise that for hybrid working to be implemented successfully, measures should be put in place to address any challenges faced by employees working from home. A very real example in South Africa is loadshedding. Employers can invest in and distribute UPS power supplies or wireless internet dongles among employees to reduce disruptions in such cases. 

Insurers also need to understand how driving patterns are changing or emerging over time, how this impacts the risks faced by clients and how we can effectively respond with relevant products and benefits.

By continuing to monitor the Work From Home Index, we will be able to assess which shifts and changes, such as fuel price increases and loadshedding, are likely to have a long-term impact on how and where people work. For more information on the index, click here

 

References:

  1. SA’s most popular days for driving to work are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, according to recently released driving data, https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/news-room
  2. Americans are embracing flexible work—and they want more of it, https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/real-estate/our-insights/americans-are-embracing-flexible-work-and-they-want-more-of-it
  3. Advantages and disadvantages of the hybrid workplace model, https://www.wework.com/ideas/workspace-solutions/flexible-products/hybrid-workplace-advantages-disadvantages
  4. What’s next for remote work: An analysis of 2,000 tasks, 800 jobs, and nine countries, https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/future-of-work/whats-next-for-remote-work-an-analysis-of-2000-tasks-800-jobs-and-nine-countries
  5. Has remote work delivered results for insurers? https://insuranceblog.accenture.com/has-remote-work-delivered-results-for-insurers

 

 

Article written by: Precious Nduli

                            Discovery Insure: Head of Technical Marketing and Marketing

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