Moves have been made to ensure the transition does not impact on service levels, said director of operational effectiveness 

RSA has formally moved to a hybrid working system following the success of a six month trial of the system it tested earlier this year.

The insurer officially implemented the hybrid system two weeks ago for its just over 5,000 UK employees following an evaluation of the trial and the benefits it delivered.

Sarah Mantle-Gray, RSA’s UK and Ireland director of organisational effectiveness, told Insurance Times that, while the company was examining the potential upsides of a hybrid workplace system pre-pandemic, the enforced office closures had crystalised the benefits.

“The pandemic was certainly the catalyst for change,” she added. “The move to a remote working system did not deliver a great deal of disturbance in terms of the ability to serve the needs of our brokers and customers.”

RSA consulted with their staff throughout the trial and Mantle-Gray said the employee feedback has been hugely positive and delivered greater engagement and staff retention.

“Our discussions with staff see the hybrid-working system as one of the biggest attractions to working with the company and we see it a differentiator for us as an employer,” she explained.

Service levels 

Mantle-Gray said the insurer has worked to ensure that the move did not impact on services levels. 

She explained that while its broker-facing teams are now able to work from home two days per week there is no barrier to staff spending five days in the office, if they wished.

This was not a move to fully remote working, she clarified. 

“There is no one size fits all solution and it is down to the teams to work out the best system for their individual needs,” she said. “This is not the death of the office, but we have to recognised that working systems are changing.”

Mantle-Gray said the flexibility that hybrid-working provided has been proven to benefit female staff in particular – over half of the insurer’s 5,000 UK staff are female and hybrid working has enabled employees to better engage with the company.

“We have tweaked the system over the past six months as we learned lessons and we have in place specific support for those members of our staff who are early in their careers and new joiners.

“We recognise they need more face to face support and we want to ensure that we can help them to build their careers with us.”

Looking to the future, Mantle-Gray added: “The world of work is changing – we will continue to look at other areas where we can deliver increased flexibility.

”We are seeing some businesses move to a four day week and while we are not at that point yet, it is important that we keep looking at all forms of flexibility and how it can benefit the business and our employees.

“It is a case of watch this space.”