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Flexibility Improves Retention + Productivity

Work Flexibility

October 24, 2022

The pandemic was a catalyst for EMC Insurance Companies’ shift to flexible work arrangements. Since embracing this new era of work, we’ve seen an increase in employee retention and productivity, the ability to hire diverse team members countrywide and heightened motivation and engagement.

Our people are at the forefront of every decision we make. EMC’s value of inclusion encompasses our commitment to a culture where people feel valued, respected and empowered. Team member feedback was integral to shaping EMC’s flexible work arrangement policy. More than 75% of team members countrywide elected to work from home at least 60% of the time. Plus, in a recent team member survey, 95% of respondents said they believe our flexible work arrangement policy helps improve the lives of our team members.

The EMC Playbook

As a company, we remain focused on allowing our team members the flexibility they need to have the best experience possible. That includes giving them the option to select the work arrangement that works best for them — whether that’s a full or partial return to the office or full-time work from home.

We know a hybrid model can fuel faster productivity, more creative innovation and better collaboration. Here are four strategies EMC is using to harness a hybrid model and make it work:

  1. Hoteling stations — EMC built 125 hoteling stations throughout our Des Moines campus (and will continue to add more based on needs). Hoteling stations provide a temporary workspace for team members who elect to work from home 60% of the time but come into the office 1–2 days per week.
  2. Work from Work Wednesday — if team members go into the office but there’s no one else there, there is no value to be gained. To address this barrier, EMC’s Information Technology Team introduced Work from Work Wednesday — a day of the week where team members can count on other team members to be in-office for meetings, collaboration and whiteboarding. Attendance is not mandatory, yet many team members still elect to come in and participate in a day of social interaction, in-person collaboration and team building.
  3. Increased travel budget — in response to a dispersed workforce, we increased our travel budget for remote team members who live 200+ miles away from the office. This allows remote team members to visit the office more frequently and interact with their teams in-person to build connections — no matter where they live.
  4. All team member meetings — inviting all team members to come together once a quarter provides a valuable forum for a range of different functions, helping team members share ideas, stay informed, build relationships and feel more connected at work.

Many of us have settled into the rhythm of hybrid work. Staying flexible allows team members to create greater balance and autonomy during their week, have a more positive mindset, enjoy higher levels of well-being and better mental health. At EMC, we exist to improve lives — and that includes our team members.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership created the Workforce Trends and Occupancy Study (WTOS) Playbook in response to Greater Des Moines (DSM) workforce trends research that was conducted in partnership with Baton Global. The WTOS Playbook features insights related to the future of work in DSM, workforce suggestions for businesses in the region and local case study examples.

Beth Nigut

Beth Nigut is a member of EMC's strategic leadership team, and oversees Marketing and Communications, Corporate Strategy, Human Resources and Innovation. Prior to joining EMC in 2010, Beth served as general counsel for a school district and was in private practice. She is a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE).