Reducing hours, boosting efficiency in insurance

One Gold Coast brokerage is ahead of the curve and recently trialed a four-day work week

Reducing hours, boosting efficiency in insurance

Insurance News

By Alexi Demetriadi

While it is common in most industries to do more hours than stipulated on your contract, pulling the odd ‘late-nighter’ more often than hoped, one Queensland based-brokerage is trying to buck that trend. Nathan Wrobel, managing director and co-founder of Acquire Insurance Group, explained to Insurance Business that Acquire has been trialling a four-day work week, in an attempt to better efficiency and well-being.

“I saw an article about Microsoft in Japan implementing a four-day work week which led to a 40% increase in productivity which got me thinking, ‘why is the normal work week five-days and what is the benefit of it?’” Wrobel asked. “I’m a big believer that staff members are a company’s greatest asset and I’m always looking for ways to improve my employees’ work experience.”

Wrobel explained that he put the idea forward to the Acquire team and it was met with a positive response.

“We’re now four-months in and things are going great,” he said.

So, how did Acquire mitigate any potential teething problems associated with one-less day in the office?

“Originally I was a little concerned about clients not getting a quick response by their account manager on their day off,” said Wrobel. “So, instead of the office closing on a particular day of the week I split the days off between the staff and implemented a buddy system so that each employee was responsible for actioning the urgent enquires of their buddy on their day off and vice versa.”

Wrobel thought that everyone might want Friday or Monday off to have a long weekend, but he was pleasantly surprised when some staff choose to take the middle days and split the work week up.

Wrobel told Insurance Business that he has been delighted with the results.

“Definitely, I have only seen positive results from the trial. Retention rates have increased, and turnover has increased 45% from the same period in the previous year,” he explained. “I’m sure many factors have contributed to that, however, there has been a noticeable improvement in office morale and staff happiness which I’m sure has contributed to the company’s success.”

A simultaneous intuitive allows staff members to take a 30-minute break on top of their lunch break to go to the gym, or exercise which Wrobel said has also “contributed to a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.” He told Insurance Business that if things continue to go well, he will look to make it a permanent change.

“I’d like to see the concept expand to the entire industry and ultimately the country as a whole,” he said. “If more directors make the change, hopefully it will lead to a more systemic change in the future.”

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