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HOK Research Report: The New Insurance Workplace

HOK’s WorkPlace group has released “The New Insurance Workplace,” a report examining the forces reshaping the insurance industry and how workplace design can position these companies for success.

Insurance companies are in the business of managing risk. They take pride in their conservative approach to risk management and traditional business models. They also have high-performance cultures that demand strong results. Yet changing regulations, emerging technologies and increasingly obsolete work processes have left many legacy players with underutilized, outdated office and retail space that hinders their ability to meet the fast-changing expectations of customers.

In this new world many companies are rethinking how their workplace can contribute to their business success. They want the work environment to convey the company’s brand while aligning with their organizational structure, work processes, technology and HR policies. When it does, the workplace can significantly boost the effectiveness of their people while cutting costs.


“The New Insurance Workplace” provides information on the unique threats and challenges facing the industry—and describes the opportunities to respond with new work environments that help attract and engage employees and enhance the customer experience.

One interesting trend is the insurance companies who are “walking the walk” by launching workplace programs designed to improve employee wellness, ergonomics and fitness. Several have even used these wellness initiatives as pilot projects for gleaning data and best practices that they can then share with customers.

Our investigation into the evolution of the insurance workplace includes a look at amenities, mobility, trends in call and contact centers, Activity-Based Workplaces, Neighborhood-Based Choice Environments and Space as a Service. Also included are key takeaways from HOK’s global workplace survey of corporate real estate executives in the insurance sector. The survey showed that more than 70 percent of participants have deployed workplace standards or guidelines across their portfolio. One hundred percent of the respondents report incorporating some type of free-address, unassigned space.

Case studies of workplace projects for leading insurance companies—including Sun Life Financial, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Goosehead Insurance—provide insight into current best practices.

We hope this look into the forces of change impacting the insurance sector’s workplace helps bring leaders in the C-Suite, corporate real estate, facilities management, HR, IT and other departments into productive conversations about how to unlock the true potential of their space—and their people.

Download a PDF (4 MB) of “The New Insurance Workplace” research report.

Learn more about HOK’s WorkPlace group.