By Sharon Emek March 09, 2021, 1:24 p.m. EST 3 Min Read

6/11/2021 Insurance work-at-home isn’t going away post-COVID | Digital Insurance

Sometimes it takes something big to get an industry to move forward rapidly. In a pandemic-laced 2020, insurance found its catalyst.

Within just a few short weeks in early 2020, many of the country’s insurance companies had sent employees home to work, either 100% virtually or some hybrid of in-house and remote work. Nationwide sent 98% of its employees (28,000 employees) home and accelerated their plans to adopt a hybrid work model.

It’s a move that many organizations are saying could become permanent. As the savings and flexibility of moving to remote business models are revealed, companies are looking at establishing digital workspaces for each employee.

The Digital Shift
A digital workspace is the technology framework through which your employees will work. All of the applications, collaborative tools, and remote work capabilities reside in that framework as well as the ability to oversee operations and cybersecurity. Think of them as mini offices – your employees have access to the same tools and security that would exist in a brick-and-mortar office.

For instance, your employee may need to access company files, which may be housed on the company’s network. However, accessing those files remotely lends itself to plenty of cybersecurity issues. A digital workspace provides a secure way for employees to access data and systems in order to do their jobs.

Done correctly, the digital workspace is the key component to a more productive, successful remote workforce. Your employees can collaborate easier and connect with everyone in the organization with ease. They can customize their personal workspace too, adaptable to their workflow and needs. Plus, the digital workspace can help your organization automate function that were once done manually. That allows employees to focus on more important tasks.

One of the best features of a digital workspace is the ability to onboard new employees remotely, and deliver the materials and training they need in order to succeed in their new position. That kind of flexibility – along with the ability to customize and adapt to specific needs – can benefit both employee and employer. As business needs shift, your organization will be ready, and your employees connected no matter where they are.

Workspace Needs
As a fully remote company, we at WAHVE have identified the must-have tools that can help your employees feel connected, work effectively, and work at or above their former productivity levels.

  • Virtual desktop The virtual desktop is the secure framework and platform that will allow employees to log in to your organization’s network. The desktop should be password-protected, and employees should log out at the end of each workday.
  • Collaborative tools Your teams need to be able to work with each other, even in remote locations. There are any number of applications that can allow your team to collaborate easily. A few are Trello, Microsoft Teams and Slack are just a few of many project management and collaboration tools available. Get the feedback from your team on which tool best fits their needs. Other collaborative must-haves: messaging, email, and calendar apps.
  • Conferencing software Video conferencing is the remote organization’s best friend. At WAHVE, we use video conferencing for weekly meetings, employee one-on-one meetings, virtual happy hours and to celebrate milestones. Connecting with your employees regularly by video helps them feel connected and engaged with their colleagues and managers.
  • Cloud storage Moving your files and data to the cloud makes it infinitely easier for your teams to access the information they need quickly. There are many options available ranging from Google Drive to IBM Cloud Solutions. Be sure to choose one that fit the size of your organization and the amount of data you handle.
  • Relationship-building processes Your team is only as successful and connected as you help them become. Rethink your traditional interactions, and implement more one-on-one and weekly team meetings. Make it a point to stay updated on your employees’ lives. That’s where video conferencing and more frequent communication can really keep your employee connected. Going that extra step can make them feel valued, too.

Whether a fully remote work model or some hybrid of remote and in-house work, your organization should be investing in the tools your workforce need to remain productive and engaged. As the insurance industry moves more toward digital operations, investing in the development of a secure, user-friendly digital workspace environment can help keep your organization flexible and relevant well into the future.