Ohio-based insurer Nationwide has revealed plans to permanently transition to a new hybrid operating model, which includes primarily working-from-office in four main corporate campuses and working-from-home in the majority of other locations.
Like many other businesses in many parts of the world, in mid-March, Nationwide moved to a work-from-home business model in an effort to stop the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and adhere to social distancing measures.
The company notes that during this time it has maintained strong operational and customer service levels.
Commenting on the transition, the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Kirt Walker, said: “We’ve been investing in our technological capabilities for years, and those investments really paid off when we needed to transition quickly to a 98 percent work-from-home model.
“Our associates and our technology team have proven to us that we can serve our members and partners with extraordinary care with a large portion of our team working from home.”
The new hybrid operating model will be comprised of the following four main campuses: Central Ohio (including downtown Columbus and Grandview Yard); Des Moines, Iowa; Scottsdale, Arizona; and San Antonio, Texas.
According to Nationwide, these four locations have been selected based on current large concentration of associates; flexibility to serve members across time zones; and, ongoing access to associate talent and subject matter expertise that will ultimately enable continued success.
“Our goal is to ensure that when a recovery comes, we’re prepared to win business with competitively priced solutions while enhancing our resiliency and operational efficiency. We’re technology-enabled, people-connected and mission-driven. I remain extremely optimistic about our future,” said Walker.
Outside of the four main locations, Nationwide plans to exit most buildings by November 1st, 2020 and move associates within these locations to permanent remote-working status. Those locations include: Gainesville, Fla; Harleysville, Penn; Raleigh, N.C.; Wausau, Wis; and, Richmond, VA.
In addition, the insurer explains that exceptions include its Pet’s business operations in Brea, California, Nationwide’s New York office, and also the firm’s annuity distribution facility in Louisville, Ky.
“Exceptions may also include smaller offices and locations that are required by state plans or business need to have an office location to service members,” explains the insurer.
Over the coming months, Nationwide says that it plans to finalise all of the details, which includes technology and equipment needs, support mechanisms and telework arrangements.
In light of the unprecedented challenges and uncertainty being driven by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the move from large U.S. insurer Nationwide is perhaps not too surprising.
As large companies with offices in numerous locations and thousands of staff adjust to remote working and realise their ability to operate pretty much business as usual, it could be that more and more insurers and reinsurers transition to hybrid operating models centred around remote working.