Hybrid working: making it work for you

Our very own Chris Woollam looks back to the beginning of lockdown and how we've moved away from our typical hospitality routes and moved to a virtual world.

Quote“It will only be for a few weeks” was the cry when we locked up the office and set up working from home back in March 2020. 

How little did we know on that day about just how we were ahead of the game, in terms of both working from home technology and the resilience/experience of the Covéa Insurance mid-market teams, allowing us to be instantly accessible whilst delivering an uninterrupted service to our brokers, which was pleasing as this was in contrast to the feedback brokers provided to us about other insurers.

We were placed in a great position as we had an IT gateway already set up which allowed anyone with a PC or laptop to access all our systems whilst working from home. Our IT team were forward thinking in its creation and they were equally quick to order numerous laptops for those who needed them just before the first lockdown. So the very next day after leaving the office we logged on at home and everything worked – the only thing missing was the commute, the travel to brokers’ offices, the travel to internal meetings, broker hospitality and of course the office dynamic, the fun stories after the weekend plus all the cakes for a team members birthday etc. etc. 

We soon learned that we and our waistlines could live without a number of these but we knew we needed contact with our brokers and contact as a team – we are sociable beings who need interaction with others not to mention we had to uphold the well-trodden sales patter of “insurance is a people business” so then began the volume of Zoom and Teams events ranging from a formal meetings, general catch up sessions to fun quizzes.

As more time was spent at home it was vital we kept up these levels of engagement to avoid the feeling of isolation. After 12 months of ‘WFH’ or living at work as some people called it, most people had enough of their own company not to mention that of their family members who were also living at work. Praise also needs to go out to all those with small children who had to home school for a few months and in doing so made huge personal sacrifices – a number of the Covéa Insurance team changed their working hours to ensure they always had the right work life balance.

In between all this turbulence we made changes to our operational processes to improve our service to brokers.


Some of these changes had been previously debated at length but now with a real life pandemic as a very real backdrop – change had to be forced through, we had to allay some fears and concerns and it was embraced out of necessity and wow did some of these changes really help us improve, allowing us to respond quicker to you - our brokers.

Our change programme was definitely successful as we were recognised by you in winning the General insurer of the year at the 2021 British Insurance Awards, along with our exceptional results with the Institute of Customer Service.  

After 2 years of constantly trying to deliver for our brokers and end customers we are excited about the future and the ability for hybrid working. Hybrid working for us represents the opportunity to do more of the activities that are essential to success whilst reducing or totally eradicating those that add little value. We feel hybrid working will remain a positive influence on service proposition and our mental health by allowing us to remain fresh, break up monotony whilst freeing up time to continue to explore and embrace further change and we would love you to join us on that journey by continuing to support the Covéa Insurance mid-market teams.

We are confident that our service and our sales and underwriting teams will remain key reasons for your continued support and we are really looking forward to doing more face to face activity to make up for lost time. We will also be reaching out to you to help us remain ahead of the rest when it comes to service as well us hosting some small bespoke hospitality events.

We are really excited about 2022 and working with you.