Future of Work: How to Win at Working from Home

Achieving a Work-Life Balance has been a topic of discussion for many years. I recall that the most trying period of my life was while attempting to establish and grow my career while also maintaining a healthy marriage and raising small children to become responsible adults. And, finding time to care for myself, to meal prep and exercise. All these values required my attention, focus and a deliberate effort to give as much as I could of myself to each, for the highest benefit.

In recent times, we have come to agree that a Work-Life Balance is a dream goal, a concept to strive for, but nearly impossible. We are wanting to be able to give the right portion of ourselves to the people we love and to our work, and we feel conflicted, because the operative challenge is time. Having enough time and making the best use of our time is our great challenge.

During those growth years, one of my children suffered a head injury and subsequent intractable epilepsy (seizures) and her health crises upended my entire world. The monumental stress this presented while I was employed at a Fortune 500 insurance carrier, compounded the challenge of a Work-Life balance, because now I was also a caregiver. During this period, my work became even more important to me because work was my escape from the suffering, a place where I felt grounded, productive and “normal”. More than anything I did not want to lose my job. So, with caution, I explained my circumstances to my immediate supervisor who allowed me to do something that had never been done before – Work from home. It was so important to me to perform, while working from home, to prove that I could deliver stellar results at work while caring from my child. Following a harrowing year, when my daughter underwent a cranial resection (brain surgery) in June 2006, I continued to work from home, and often worked next to a hospital bed. It was a nightmare but being able to continue to work helped me maintain my sanity throughout the experience, because, as we say in Workers Comp, “work is therapy”! At year end, I was recognized by our senior vice president, Susan Sendra, for delivering stellar claim results under difficult circumstances. I expressed my deep gratitude to her for the ability to work from home during this difficult period of my life, for the opportunity to prove that I could. I will be eternally grateful to Susan Sendra for her confidence in me and taking a chance.

Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic offered the opportunity for millions of workers to work from home and manage homelife, under unprecedented circumstances. In the insurance claims industry, there were many learnings from this past year, principles for the Future of Work.

Work from Home (WFH): Ah! The great debate! Can working from home be an effective alternative to working in an office. I think we have learned affirmatively the answer is YES! But, at home workers must be able to self-manage, be proficient in time management, efficient at prioritization of tasks and must be committed to solid performance.

Business Disruption and Cybersecurity

We learned that people working at home exposed companies to significant business disruption and cyber-security issues. Working from home exposed the gaps in the claim industry, those cracks in the process that hampered the ability to be responsive, deliver good claim outcomes, decrease claim costs and satisfy policyholders and injured persons. There were delays in care, litigation, responsiveness and timeliness in performing tasks. Particularly, the important task of “claims management” deteriorated. With fluctuations in the workplace, files were transferred from person to person and claims were not well managed, as claim handlers struggled to re-organize their workday and prioritize tasks and become familiar with the relevant claim/ legal/ medical aspects of each unique claim.

Many claim handlers have limited claims experience and working from home afforded very limited access to experienced persons and supervisors, critical to promoting professional growth. There was disruption in performance management, supervisors without tools to measure claim performance or outcomes, working harder than ever to both manage remote workers and claims. An unsustainable environment that we discussed in our blog, The Elephant in Your Claims Department. With 30% of our claim’s talent retiring, new workers to the claim’s environment have steep learning curves and little access to learn the required skills to properly manage a claim and are mobile, people do not expect to work 30 years for the same company anymore.

People, Process and Technology can bridge the gaps! People, Process and Technology is the winning formula for the Future of Work. More companies have been awakened to this value, particularly in claims management. How do we bridge working form home with exemplary claims outcomes at Care Bridge International? Early this year, we wrote about How Front Line Claim Professionals Get Immediate Big Wins in Claims through customer journey mapping and the use of our proprietary Bridge-IT platform, Care Bridge offers ClaimMAP, Claim Management Action Plan, a precision-based tool that identifies opportunities for improvement in claim outcomes and cost savings in minutes, identifying specific, targeted actions that can be taken immediately by a claim handler to gain pro-active, immediate results for claims. We provide this service with our Medicare Set Aside and Medical Forecast services.

Without the convenience of in-office conversations and collaboration, ClaimMAP meets the demand of the stressed and distracted remote worker struggling to balance work and home life by removing the guesswork and time commitment to identify claim opportunities. ClaimMAP pairs high-tech machine learning claim analytics with high touch advanced clinical practitioners who forecast medical treatment and costs for your claim settlements, medical reserves and/ or Medicare Set Asides for immediate BIG wins in claim management. We do the heavy lifting for you!

Our ClaimMAP identifies brand to generic prescription drug conversion opportunities, the tool identifies the probability of a surgical and other procedures in the life of a claim to raise awareness about medical necessity and appropriateness of care. In addition, where objective medical findings conflict with subjective c