Direct Line Group

Workplace Insurance - Direct Line Group


Setting the Scene:

In its early days, Direct Line Group had a reputation for innovation and creativity. It was the first insurance firm to underwrite using computers, the first to insure directly by telephone, and the first to offer customers a 24-hour helpline. Over time, however, RBS’s ownership of the brand fostered a more conventional corporate image and approach.

So, when Direct Line demerged from the bank and began a programme of rationalisation in 2012, the company jumped at the chance to restore the culture that had defined the company in the beginning. This was to include a new model for workplace design that engendered a more vibrant and collaborative environment

The Challenge:

Direct Line Group enlisted the help of AWA to undertake a study involving the occupants on a single floor in the company’s Leeds building. Those occupants, who comprised the HR and business services teams, had a limited need for adjacency and different work characteristics.

The Solution:

To capture their vision, AWA held a ‘vision workshop’ with the business’s leaders, using a combination of visioning techniques and an Organisational Needs Profiler. AWA followed this up with a series of studies and engagements including an online Occupier Profiling Study, Workplace Utilisation Studies, ‘Day in the life’ workshops and an Infrastructure Review that covered HR, IT and building infrastructure. Together, this allowed AWA to gain a deeper understanding of the organisations, its people’s needs and their outlook on the future.

Following this important first step of the process, AWA introduced its latest research on Knowledge Worker Productivity, which identified six factors that have been proven to impact productivity within organisations that depend on knowledge workers. By merging the results from this research and earlier studies with Direct Line’s furniture standards, AWA was able to put forward a compelling ‘science-backed’ proposition that addressed workplace design, IT infrastructure, working practices and a cultural change template for the insurance company’s new workplace.

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