Lifestyle Article - Actuaries say hybrid working improved work life balance

A new survey has revealed three quarters of actuarial professionals believe switching to hybrid or home working has positively impacted their work-life balance, but over half say they typically work more hours at home than in the office.

 The survey, which was conducted by recruitment specialists Sellick Partnership, explored how working practices have changed for many actuaries since the pandemic. The results will be shared with employers, providing insights into flexible and hybrid working across the market and enabling companies to become more aligned with staff expectations.

 The data revealed that 75% of respondents have experienced a positive impact on their work-life balance as a result of hybrid/remote working. However, interestingly, 63% say they typically work more hours at home in comparison to when they’re in the office.

 Over 600 actuarial professionals completed the survey, with the findings showing that 37% are in the office for a minimum of two days each week, the most popular response when it comes to the hybrid split. Just 4% of responses indicated they were expected to be in the office 4 or 5 days a week, showing a real shift away from fully office-based working.

 When it came to embracing remote working, 54% said a hybrid model was best, while 36% prefer to work from home, and just 9% saw office working as their preference.

 The results also revealed that 51% said they feel more productive when working from home than when they are in the office, but did recognise the issues remote working could bring for new starters with 65% of respondents agreeing that hybrid working has either a slight or significant negative impact on new hires.

 In addition, more than one quarter (28%) reported that hybrid working has been negatively impacting their own soft skills development – including communication and interpersonal skills.

 Sellick Partnership’s survey also provided the following insights:
 • 43% of all of those polled said they work at least six hours more than they are contracted to do in a typical week. This included 14% that said they work 30 extra hours per week or more.
 • 22% of survey respondents live more than 50 miles from their base office, with 10% of these living more than 100 miles away.

 Hannah Cottam, CEO at Sellick Partnership, said: “It’s clear to see the positive impact that hybrid and remote working arrangements have had on Actuaries. Even better is that they’ve had such a profound impact on their work-life balance.

 “However, the findings also shed light on the challenges posed by remote work, with over half of professionals reporting longer hours worked from home which could be down to the lack of travel involved in their days, or the ease that comes with staying logged on.

 “As we navigate these evolving dynamics, it's imperative for employers to tailor strategies that not only enhance flexibility but also mitigate potential drawbacks. This data highlights the importance of understanding employee needs and preferences in crafting sustainable and inclusive work environments.”

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