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Pilot study suggests two thirds of insurance and financial services employees want to work from home after the pandemic


  • More than 90% believe that home working is viable for their job

  • Significantly more women than men want to work from home

  • Relationships with managers and colleagues are key to company handling of the pandemic

  • Ability to manage change more important than rewards and recognition for job satisfaction – even before the pandemic


Naylor Research Partnership, whose lead statistician Alix Naylor has been researching employee satisfaction and wellbeing for more than a decade, conducted a pilot study of insurance and financial services employees in late 2020 to consider how staff feel generally about their work and how they have been impacted by the changes brought about by the pandemic. 


Working From Home


The Coronavirus pandemic has forced companies in the insurance and financial services sectors to change how they go about their business, reducing dramatically face to face contact with customers and colleagues. The biggest change for employees has been the widespread move to home working. 


Of the 66% of employees that expressed a preference to work from home once the pandemic was over, nearly all (97%) felt that they had enough equipment and connectivity required to make it viable, though 39% said that there was room for improvement in this regard. 


There was a statistically significant split between men and women. Almost three quarters of women want to work from home for most or all of the time, commonly citing the opportunity to spend more time with their family. This dropped to just over half of men, whose comments included that they were not as productive at home and the more professional environment of the office. 


It might be expected that there would be a link between the length of commute and wanting to work from home, but although commuting was sometimes mentioned as a reason for the preference, travel time itself was not found to be related strongly to that preference across the whole sample. No direct relationship was found between wanting to work from home and previous use of public transport to get to the office. 


The pilot data suggest that the bigger a company is, the more likely its employees want to work from home. However more research with a bigger sample would be required to make this assertion across the sectors. 


The Importance of Relationships and Change Management


The research included analysis of employee relationships with colleagues and managers, and the ability of companies to manage change, which were found to be the top two predictors of job satisfaction (more than rewards and recognition).  Job satisfaction itself was the strongest driver for employee retention, but change management performance was also a direct predictor of employee retention. 


Other studies - notably by global people change management specialists Prosci* - have identified the importance of leadership by senior management in successful business change and this was reflected in our research. There was a very strong relationship between senior managers’ active promotion of change (before and during the pandemic) and employee perceptions of how well their company had managed the impact of Coronavirus. 



Research Information


More than two hundred subjects self-identified as working currently as employees in the insurance and financial services sector and were targeted directly rather than through their employers. Responses were anonymous. As a pilot study, the sample was a relatively small but well-balanced cohort in terms of gender, age and position within companies of different sizes. Industry-standard testing was undertaken to ensure that findings were statistically robust. 


Our intention is to use this pilot study to inform further research, targeting individual  companies to reflect discrete corporate environments and working practices. 


Further information about the research is available from




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