The Future of Work – preparing employers for what’s next

Last updated on November 9, 2023
When you consider work, say 10 years from now, what do you see? People and robots working side-by-side? Goggles instead of monitors? Or something else?

While we can’t predict the future of work, by examining workplace and workforce trends of the present, it’s certain we can better prepare for what’s next.

‘Future of Work’ was the theme for the 2023 Personal Injury Education Foundation (PIEF) National Summit held in August. Our Personal Injury team members soaked up visions of what tomorrow might look like from an array of excellent keynote presenters. Two such speakers were  Dr Ben Hamer, a visionary futurist, and Dr Jordan Nguyen, renowned robotics expert, both paving the way for change.

Allianz Personal Injury Team
 Allianz Personal Injury team members at the PIEF National Summit 2023

Remote and hybrid work has reshaped the very essence of office life. According to Dr Hamer, this change isn’t just about convenience; it’s about attracting the brightest talent, boosting productivity and nurturing employee wellbeing.

Having flexibility in how, where and when work takes place has become a must-have for many. Dr Hamer spoke to recent research that reveals 7 out of 10 WFH-capable employees wouldn’t consider an employer that didn’t have a flexible working policy in place. But it’s a shift that can benefit employers too. When employee wellbeing improves, so does productivity. The watch-out for employers is the feelings of loneliness and isolation that can come with remote working.

For many, the office is now a place for connection, collaboration, and innovation. Home, on the other hand can be ideal for administrative activities and deep-focus work. To succeed, Dr Hamer suggests a balance for both.

As communities and workplaces become more diverse, employers should be fostering a culture of connection, inclusivity and belonging. The ability to engage and motivate a multi-generational workforce has never been more important.

Gen Z are future work influencers, due to their values around work-life balance, wellbeing and social responsibility, and high level of comfortability with virtual environments. They expect organisations to drive social change and stay true to their values.

While transformative, the road ahead isn’t without its challenges. To navigate them, employers should reflect on how they deliver customer value, embrace diversity and the needs of their multi-generational workforces.

Rather than replacing humanity, Dr Hamer and Dr Nguyen believe AI can enhance it. Harnessing technology for completing data-heavy or monotonous tasks will create more capacity for people to focus on tasks which require nuance and empathy.

For the personal injury industry, technology can optimise claims interaction for better customer and health outcomes. Using AI for predictive risk modelling, claims triaging and to manage administrative tasks, increases the speed and accuracy of claims processing, and allows case managers to focus on connecting with customers.

In line with the conference theme, we asked PIEF Summit attendees to participate in a poll and share their view on the top challenges, trends or opportunities for workplaces over the next 5 years. Here’s what stood out:

  1. Attracting and retaining talent is a challenge.
  2. We must focus on a clear national capability framework to encourage career progression and skill development.
  3. Providing flexible work opportunities is a priority in most workplaces within the industry.

At Allianz Australia, we’re making sure we’re ready for what’s ahead by monitoring trends, investing in research and advancing foresight initiatives.

Our hybrid ways of working and flexible work options show our commitment to a culture where work-life balance matters. At the 2023 ANZIIF Insurance Industry Awards our efforts to embed inclusion into everything that we do and support a culture of belonging were recognised. We received the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award.

Mental health in the workplace has never been more important and we’re championing initiatives that help build mentally healthy workplaces across Australia.

From within our Personal Injury division, we’ve redesigned our claims management capability framework to provide our people with opportunities for career growth and development.

From a technology standpoint we’re augmenting claims decision making with AI to help customers get the right support at the right time. Our AI powered workers’ compensation triage model builds a deep understanding of biopsychosocial risk modelling and means our customers benefit from tailored assistance based on their level of need. We’re also partnering with psychologists to use virtual reality tools to help customers recover from road accident trauma.

The 2023 PIEF National Summit unveiled a promising future for the personal injury industry, presenting opportunities for significant benefits. The road to achieving this transformation will demand adaptability, a readiness to embrace change, and a curious spirit.

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 ("Allianz"). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

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