Industry experience

Our successful work with the insurance sector is based on our understanding of the unique characteristics of the industry’s distinct functions to create physical and virtual environments where everyone can thrive. Insurance is becoming an increasingly diverse industry, as it strives to expand the scope and scale of its product offerings through invention, expansion, and acquisition.

Whether we are working with claims, finance, legal, marketing or underwriting – our role is to know when to aggregate and when to differentiate a wide range of requirements all while supporting a cohesive organizational culture:

  • Work settings
  • Technology and equipment needs
  • Time in and out of the office
  • Collaboration vs. focused work
  • Management and communication styles
  • Education and training
  • Client interaction
  • Security
  • Branding and communications

Industry challenges

The insurance industry is adapting to life beyond Covid-19 lockdowns by easing into more hybrid ways of working. Initially considered a means of reducing fixed costs, hybrid working is now a key factor in recruitment – one of the sector’s biggest challenges. As the industry becomes “remote first” – embracing not only new technologies, but a new mindset around what technology can do – younger workers drawn to the industry will have the vision and the tools that empower them to address and improve upon customers’ increasing demand for faster, less-redundant processes and more personalized services.

In a broader sense, these changes will help expand the talent pool needed to enable the sector to focus on the even greater challenges of mitigating risk around societal and economic problems, governmental regulations, natural catastrophes and human-made threats.

Aging workforce

A key workplace challenge – and not one exclusive to the insurance industry – is that a balance must be struck between people, place and technology. A conundrum intensified by the pandemic, is that while new workers were being hired (without ever seeing the inside of their office) older workers were aging out of the workplace (taking years of experience with them). In a post-pandemic world, this situation persists as each generation maintains different expectations of the physical and virtual workplace.

Future growth dependent on M&A activity

One business challenge facing the industry is that future growth will increasingly depend upon mergers, acquisitions and third-party partners to expand and innovate services. This will pose new challenges in change management, communications and assimilation; process and regulations; safety and security. Creating an environment where a collegial, cohesive culture can thrive will be essential.


“We have worked with AWA for more than five years and value the collaborative partnership we have with them. They have supported the ongoing evolution of our workplace, providing deep insights and extensive expertise. With their help, we’ve been able to create a transformational space which supports our hybrid working approach and transforms our culture and ways of working to become more agile and innovative. This helps us recruit and retain the best talent, which supports our core purpose of funding research to save lives. None of this would have been possible without the help of AWA.”

Kerry Smith Chief People Officer, British Heart Foundation

“Leading a major change management project in complex international organization is challenging undertaking. I knew it would involve multiple stakeholders, take wide-ranging collaboration and that we would need some expert, confident experience to help steer and deliver it. AWA has provided that, not by steaming in and dictating how things should be based on their ideals, but by listening to us, learning, understanding and advising. I have enjoyed working closely with them on this project. I have felt supported, they have always been available to discuss challenges and options and have always responded promptly, constructively and positively with solutions and alternative ideas for consideration.”

Tom Crame Head of Global Workplace, Amnesty International

“Mintel has worked successfully with AWA for over a decade on several major projects. We chose them for their expertise and experience at the cutting edge of understanding workplaces. They lead the industry with well-crafted research to understand the dynamic workplace landscape and help solve the real-world issues of operating successfully in a changing world. Along with data and insights they bring practical processes that involve everyone from grass root team members to the most senior executives, developing effective change to meet all parties’ goals. They have become trusted advisers around not only workplace matters but in behavioral change.”

Peter Haigh Chairman, Mintel

“AWA has been a great resource of global data and research for us regarding agile, hybrid and the world of working. They are responsive, willing to question assumptions, and work as a partner to help us make good decisions.”

Neil Austin VP Real Estate Portfolio Management and Transaction Services, Omnicom Group

“We were really keen to understand how the learnings and behaviors of Covid enforced home working would affect the post-pandemic return of staff and in particular to our Sheffield campus as we have plans to restack and refurbish the office space. AWA’s detailed and in-depth engagement process allowed us to reach out to all levels of occupants and really understand staff perception on what will be needed to create a new working environment that would align with business requirements and where changes in behavior, management style and space might be appropriate. Their insights also allowed us to create a blueprint of alternative space types that we’ve used to inform the repurposing of space across our nationwide estate.”

Steve Chapman Interim Head of Estates ICF Security, Estates and Information Directorate, Home Office