For the global insurance workforce, the transition to digital and new ways of working during the pandemic solidified the importance of flexibility, good relationships with coworkers and supervisors, and newer workplace values, such as diversity and inclusion and environmental consciousness. But as the insurance industry modernizes, it’s stoked people’s fears that their jobs could become obsolete.
These are among the findings from a survey of 3,000 respondents in the industry conducted by Boston Consulting Group and The Network as part of the ongoing Decoding Global Talent series.
During the pandemic, 75% of insurance employees worked outside the office some or all of the time, well above the 51% cross-industry average. If given the option, 69% said that they would prefer to continue with a hybrid model of work that combines onsite and remote work—and a full 94% would prefer to work remotely some or all of the time.
Fewer people inside and outside the insurance industry are interested in moving abroad for work than in years past. However, a majority (58%) of insurance employees would consider working virtually for a foreign employer, and 64% in digital fields (including IT and technology, automation, data analytics, and digitization) said they would do so.
Even though the vast majority of insurance employees switched to working remotely during the pandemic, they ranked good relationships with colleagues as the most important facet of their job. The perceived value of solid relationships with peers was strong enough to displace maintaining a good work-life balance from its spot in our previous survey as employees’ top priority.
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In 2020, for the first time, insurance employees included company values among the ten workplace attributes that they care about most. The vast majority, 71%—and 78% of employees age 30 or younger—said diversity and inclusion have become more important to them over the past year.
Industry employees feel almost as adamantly about environmental justice issues. Close to 69% overall and 74% of younger employees agree that issues of environmental responsibility gained in importance in the past year.
The pandemic didn’t affect employment levels in insurance as much as it did in other industries: 69% of industry respondents reported that they worked the same amount of time or more. However, the shift to remote work that the pandemic accelerated is part of a larger trend toward digitization and automation that is causing 48% of respondents to worry that their jobs could become redundant.
It follows that people who feel their jobs are at risk are open to reskilling (learning new skills needed in a different role). In our survey, 71% of employees in insurance said they are willing to reskill. Industry employees spend a few weeks or more on training per year, slightly less time than the cross-industry average, possibly because employers don’t offer training in the formats that employees prefer or don’t provide enough time during the workweek for employees to learn new skills.
Download the full report to understand current trends affecting the insurance industry workforce and what insurers can do to attract and retain talent.