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Nobody is born knowing how to use Twitter or Excel! Embracing flexible working environments isn’t an impossible challenge – Nick Colman, Towergate Insurance

by | Mar 17, 2016 | Business, Technology | 0 comments

Established in 1997, Towergate Insurance has set itself apart from other agencies by providing specialist insurance products to sections of the market that require out-of-the-ordinary cover, such as skydiving insurance.

Towergate caught our attention when they published an infographic titled: An Infographic guide to coworking for Businesses. As we explore the future of the workplace, coworking is a major part of the evolution of the workplace, and we wanted to now a bit more about how traditional business sectors, like insurance, experience coworking. We caught up with Nick Colman and Kira O’Sullivan from Towergate to find out more about their experience with coworking and the changes in the workplace that are affecting some of the most traditional businesses today.

Towergate employs experts in various fields of insurance. What are some of the major changes you have seen taking place in contemporary company culture?

Our offerings change to reflect and to also address the constantly evolving business insurance requirements.

One area of change has been with regards to more and more mobile businesses, which usually have employees who work flexibly between different offices, and also those who use coworking spaces. These people all require coverage that meets their needs while move, for which we’ve created specific insurance coverage.

Do Towergate employees work in a coworking space?

Being a large company of over 4,000 employees, we don’t work in coworking spaces. However, we have increased the number of hot desks throughout our offices, as more and more employees work in between offices and often interact with different teams. We have break-out areas in our offices that also allow teams to get together and bounce ideas off one another in a space more conducive to creativity.

The majority of our working days are spent at the office, however we also do try to make the most out of our local area. For example, we might go to a local coffee shop for a quick meeting. We also organize team days at dedicated spaces such as ETC venues and attend seminars and talks, which are often held in coworking spaces.

Your infographic, “A guide to coworking for businesses” touches on a topic that is at the forefront of discussions regarding contemporary workspace culture. In your opinion, will coworking, or flexible workspaces, be an integral part of the future of big business and corporations?

We see both the economical and creative value in coworking and flexible workspaces. Workspace is certainly at a premium in urban areas, and as we’ve seen at Towergate, which is also likely the case with many national and international companies, employees often work with those based in different locations and often need to be more mobile.

Towergate Insurance Infographic

Towergate Insurance Infographic

As a result, these employees don’t need a desk in one fixed location. Coworking and flexible workspaces also enable employees to meet individuals that they may not work with directly, which should encourage innovation and a more cohesive company culture.

Have these workplace transformations changed the insurance sector?

Being a relatively “old school” scene, the insurance industry hasn’t yet been fully impacted by the workplace transformation. However, as mentioned earlier, we do see a change in the way employees interact more frequently with those based in different locations. Flexibility fosters creative thinking, cross-team collaboration and a more pleasant work environment.

Do you think it’s more difficult for more conservative businesses (like real estate, banking, etc.) sectors to adopt?

Yes. As much truth as there may be some stereotypes, the misconception that flexible workspaces are only suited to trendy start-up style companies just isn’t the case. However, change takes time and well-established businesses often just need more time, and, particularly in the case of banks and insurance companies, to fully understand the cost benefits of such changes!

According to your infographic, 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials by 2025. What does this mean for the future of older workers?

I don’t see any particular reason as to why older workers need to struggle. It all comes down to understanding the tools that you are working with. That can sometimes be a struggle but isn’t necessarily a generational issue.

Nobody is born knowing how to use Twitter or Excel! Those who are open to learning and embracing progress should have no difficulty with change – and this applies to all ‘change’, including the general move towards more flexible working environments.

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