Zurich unveils new fully flexible option for workers

Insurance giant Zurich is offering its UK employees four different ways of working, including the option to alternate between home, remote and office-based working.

keyboard with 'flexible' working


Insurance firm Zurich UK is offering its employees four ways of working, including the option to select a ‘fully flexible persona’ and change the location of their working week to suit what works for them.

Three out of four employees already enjoyed some form of flexible working before lockdown, with 35% working from home 1-2 days a week. Since then, the business has surveyed its 4,500-strong UK workforce about how they want to work when the pandemic is over. The study revealed two out of three employees (59%) would like to work from home for more than half of the week and, of these, a third only want to come into the office one day a week. This is six times the amount of people that worked in this way in the first quarter of the year. A third want to work 80% of their working week from home.

The study also showed that one in four can’t wait to get back to the office. This includes half of those who live with people other than family members want to return to office life, 38% of employees who live with parents and 26% of those who live alone. Many also miss seeing their colleagues every day.

Steve Collinson, HR Director at Zurich UK, said: “Our research has shown us that not everyone wants to work from home five days a week forever. In effect, they want the best of all worlds which is perfectly fine. As an early adopter of flexible working, we’re in a very different space to the majority of businesses. Our lockdown transition was seamless, so allowing people further freedom to revisit where they want to work is a natural next step in our journey.”

Based on the survey, Zurich UK has devised a new policy based on four ‘personas’: the office-based employee; the contractual homeworker; the ‘on the road’ employee;  and a new ‘fully flexible’ employee.

Zurich operates from six major sites across the UK, employees can select any one of these or work from home, whichever fits best with the day they have ahead of them.

Collinson says: “The world has changed this year and we can’t ignore it. We’ve all had a chance to re-evaluate our lives and reassess our priorities. Just by giving employees the chance to work from home one day a week, for example, we would save them thousands of hours commuting that could be spent exercising, meditating, having breakfast with their families or simply catching up on home admin. This is valuable time that we’re effectively giving back to people. This time could improve the quality of their lives immeasurably – in return we get a far happier and more productive employee. It’s a win win as far as we’re concerned.”

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