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MD Australia & NZ Insurance Advisernet

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Shaun Standfield, MD Australia & NZ Insurance Advisernet

Shaun leads a general insurance broking business that has over 220 Advice Practices across Australia and New Zealand. He sees his key role as protecting, enhancing and growing the Advice Practices. Each of these practices is led by a qualified general insurance adviser and Insurance Advisernet provides their back office processes, compliance and systems to allow them to concentrate on their clients. Shaun has led the business for 5 years.

What sort of flexible work practices have you undertaken in your career?I have been fortunate to have worked in many organisations that have allowed some flexibility. I believe work, like life is give and take. In my experience if you put in the time to get your job done most employers will recognise this and when a team member needs some flexibility in their working hours most employers will allow that flexibility.

How do you think your industry and business has changed this year as a result of COVID?

Those organisations that were already allowing some flexibility and had the systems to allow team members to work remotely certainly had a distinct advantage when COVID hit earlier this year. In the longer term there will be more people working from home on a regular basis. I personally believe you can’t have team members working remotely 100% of each week, it’s very hard to create and keep a culture going when team members aren’t working physically together on a regular basis.

What do you think your industry is doing well and what would you like to see change over the next 12 months?

The insurance industry has responded well with most insurers allowing more flexibility on payment terms and other policy considerations.

You’re a big supporter of flexible work and also have strongly advocated for more women in your industry, especially at leadership levels. What will help drive change faster?

I believe change is occurring quite quickly, at Insurance Advisernet now close to 20% of our practices are led by women and this has grown from just 13% only 4 years ago. Our model allows for flexibility, remote working with many support tools to improve productivity. More and more businesses are working less structure hours now, this approach has accelerated as a result of COVID. So this allows our Advisers to mirror the working patterns of their clients and hence allows more flexibility for all of our Practices.

With such a focus on remote work, what are your tips for building culture and community when people aren’t necessarily together in physical spaces each day?

Having only a relatively small team in our core offices we are working towards having set days each week when the whole team will attend the office. This will ensure we can have face to face updates and more importantly keep the positive Insurance Advisernet culture going. We are doing this by observing and implementing government COVID safe work practices and obviously encouraging team members to get tested if they are unwell.

Could you share your top 2 or 3 predictions for what the new future may hold and how workplaces will shape up heading into 2021 and beyond.

1. Potentially less people working every day in major offices in our capital cities, people have realised through COVID that they can have more flexibility, better quality of life and even better work life balance by working from home.

2. I hope less traffic on roads as more people work from home and become more used to working, socialising and partaking in recreational activities closer to their homes. Conversely more people maybe able to work in regional areas of Australia using tele working technologies that have quickly become the norm over the last six months.

3. I think we have realised you don’t need to travel interstate for meetings when the use of video conferencing has worked well in the most part. So I believe people will be more discerning about business travel and in turn less travel reduces operational costs and gives individuals more time back.

Shaun Standfield shared his insights with Puffling’s Niamh Fitzpatrick

If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and story around executive level flex, get in touch.

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