Workers Comp Decentralization – Will Everyone Work In An Office Together Again?
I had written on the Workers Comp decentralization and centralization a few times in the past. The Great Remote Work Change seemed to happen quietly but quickly in the early part of 2020.
When I wrote on workers comp decentralization, I was referring to how carriers and TPAs open more remote offices and then close them down less than a decade later. This happened right here in my backyard – Raleigh, NC with two major carriers. I will not mention their names due to legal reasons.
One cannot disagree that workers comp decentralization had reached its peak during the pandemic. Many insurance and carrier offices were moved into workers’ homes as permanent remote workers.
The surprising comment made by a major insurance carrier adjuster was that their office had already experienced decentralization long before the pandemic. The senior claims adjuster said they had been working from home as a remote adjuster for a decade before the pandemic.
Moving Away From Workers Comp Decentralization – Your Manager Wants You Back In The Office
I came across a large number of articles on why the centralization effort is back in place with many employers.
According to Going Concern, they are:(recommend following link for the full story – worth a read)
- Companies are losing grasp of their cultures – a legitimate concern by insurance-based employers and other companies
- Allows Employees to Ask Why More Often – “why” being the employees are examining their future aspirations more closely
- Lack of desperately needed OTJ training for new hires – this one heavily applies to adjusters, even to partially experienced hires
- Working from the office is how executives got where they are – this concept was the most surprising to me
- Employers want to track you and it is easier to do from the office – goes without comments
I think this list applies very well to the insurance company and TPA offices. I do not necessarily agree with the last one on the list. With good technology, most companies including insurance-based ones can track your work without having everyone in the office.
The unexpected fourth point on executives rings very true unless management has or will permanently adapt to video meetings, phone calls, and emails. We all like a list with one surprising twist to it.
Covering The Bad and Ugly – A Silver Lining To The Cloud
One area in which I have seen an improvement with remote workers during the pandemic deserves its own article. You can check it out here. I did not want to mention only negative developments during the pandemic. ***
The silver lining was something that I noticed about claims adjusters’ performance in one area that we discovered during our claim file and reserve reviews. It is the next article that I am currently writing this week.
The current workers comp decentralization or future centralization will depend on:
- Technology – this is a given
- Management acceptance – See #4 in the above list.
- Future pandemics or cataclysms – hopefully not.
The centralization/decentralization cycle in insurance companies will continue as it has for the last 50 years.