Nearly two years into an epic remote work transition, business leaders are learning what employees think about future work models. Last month we sent a brief survey to clients to update our database and gauge their return to office plans. SCOR employees in limited numbers began returning to our offices in the U.S. during June, and we wanted to learn what our clients were doing.
Mary Beth Ramsay, head of Client Solutions, said, "Not only are we at SCOR excited to have the chance to return to the office – some of our employees are working in the office full time, others are working in hybrid arrangements – but we look forward to getting on the road and seeing our clients in person again."
The survey revealed that our client respondents have much in common with our SCOR employees. On a five-point rating scale with 5 being "love working from home" and 1 being "dislike working from home," 72% of client respondents chose 4 or 5. A SCOR employee survey about working from home showed similar results.
According to Mary Beth, the survey shows that some clients, like SCOR employees, would prefer not to return to full-time work in the office. Some 36% said never or less than one time per week, while others look forward to the return to a more traditional in-office setting, perhaps to separate home life from work life. The survey revealed 25% responded more than three times per week or full time is preferred.
"For me personally, I hope I can once again start spending time with clients at conferences and in their offices when client company policy allows visitors," Mary Beth said. "When I'm in Charlotte, I will split my time between my home and the SCOR office."
SCOR prepares employees to return to offices
To help clients understand what SCOR is doing to prepare for employees returning to the office, Julie O'Driscoll, Vice President and Chief Risk Office for SCOR Global Life in the Americas, answered a few questions.
What did SCOR do to prepare for employees to return to work?
SCOR is using a data-based approach to making an office available for work. Throughout the pandemic, viral activity has been tracked on a weekly basis for all Americas office locations. As statistics improved in a metro area, the office profile was analyzed, considering:
- State and local restrictions to protect public health
- Legal requirements, if any; e.g., requirement to screen staff
- Location headcount
- Prevalence of public transportation use
- Office community -- i.e., shared lobby, elevators or amenities
- Building management actions for cleaning and air filitration
How is SCOR monitoring employee safety and adapting to changing COVID-19 conditions such as mask mandates?
We monitor restrictions to protect public health by the relevant governmental authority. Otherwise, our source for general guidelines is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the recent prevalance of the Delta variant, when the CDC revised mask wearing guidance for vaccinated individuals on July 27, we modified the expectation on masking to align with the change.
What are the greatest risks to SCOR and its employees in the current environment?
For SCOR, with the majority of employees continuing to work from home, cyber risk is high. Globally, SCOR continuously monitors and improves security.
For SCOR's employees, the risk to the health of each individual and his/her close circle remains high, unless all have been able to be vaccinated.
What are the risks to extended remote working by some if not all employees?
Risks of continuation of a remote work environment vary. The culture of the company will change. As more time passes, our team will not have the same relationships as pre-pandemic ones which have supported our success during the last 18 months.
As SCOR adapts to the new normal, there will be new considerations to address as a business and as individuals. Recognition of those risks and facing them will impact all of us. I expect there will be some changes to how we work in comparison to pre-pandemic norms.