Great Insurance Jobs’ Cofounder Roger Lear is here to help you overcome obstacles to your career and job search. This month, he offers tips on office acclimatization.
Q: I have been informed that I need to go back to the office soon. I was wondering what might change in a post-COVID-19 office environment and how I should prepare to thrive in this new workplace?
A: I like the sounds of “post” COVID-19, as does the rest of the insurance community. That will be a reality at some point, and it can’t come soon enough. The majority of the insurance industry has been working from home for almost a year, and now that there are vaccines, companies are preparing plans to bring most employees back to work (some may stay remote forever) safely and to an environment that most likely will look utterly different from where it was just a year ago. One thing is for sure—the workplace will be much cleaner!
What does a post-COVID-19 office mean for you? Your company is now going to have the added pressure of predicting what its employees want and need so it can retain its workers and have a compelling recruiting story to fill its talent acquisition needs with great people.
In other words, companies not addressing a post-COVID-19 workplace will be at a considerable disadvantage over competitors that not only will make these changes, but also will advertise these changes to their internal and external communities.
What changes will companies make, and what do they mean to your career?
1. The “hybrid” solution. This is the popular choice where you split time between the office and home. If you are working from home now, then you have developed new skills like using Zoom and other technologies, dealing with distractions, working independently, organization, and self-motivation. Many claims adjusters have been working at home for years, so for some it won’t be a problem. The significant change will be for companies that have office-based teams. They may have to rethink their approach, and they might have issues recruiting after the pandemic is over. If you have been working from home, then make sure you have kept a record of your successes.
2. Companies will freshen up their benefits plans to make sure they include things to deal with everyone’s underlying issues. They will highlight benefits that will help employees financially, physically, and psychologically. This is huge for workers because it will let them know that their employers care about their well-being first and foremost, not just how many claims they can close each week.
3. Your workplace will be immaculate. Companies have to invest in a cleaner workplace and make sure the workforce notices the difference. This will be a company’s calling card for years to come, and will be front and center in recruiting and retaining talent.
4. Technology will play a huge role. Leaders will have to possess the skills to use technology to motivate their hybrid workforce. Employees will have to learn how to master the technology and understand how it records their effectiveness in relation to company goals.
5. Companies will have to show compassion and flexibility. They will also expect their workers to do the same. This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen your soft skills and be able to change direction quickly without any drama.
COVID-19 will throw curveballs for years to come, and companies that are transparent and make changes to accommodate their workers will grow revenue and prosper. More importantly, you can excel in an environment like this.