How Sun Life sees the future of work for its workforce

The insurance and wealth firm says flexibility and choice are the key components

How Sun Life sees the future of work for its workforce
Steve Randall

As the economy continues to rebound, companies are working out which bits of the work-from-home regime dictated by the pandemic, make sense for the long term.

The financial services industry has, generally, been one of the industries that has adapted quickly and effectively to new ways of working, while maintaining security and customer service.

Sun Life is one of the first major Canadian insurance and asset management firms to set out what it sees as the future of work for its 12,000 employees.

The firm says that the key to making this work for its team is to not try for a one-size-fits-all approach.

"The future of work at Sun Life is about flexibility and choice, empowering people to optimize their work and personal priorities," states Kevin Strain, President and incoming CEO of Sun Life. "Our employees have continued to be there for clients throughout the pandemic, accelerating towards our goal to be one of the best insurance and asset management companies in the world. Retaining flexibility allows employees to use business and Client needs as a guide to help them determine where they work."

This flexible approach means that most Sun Life employees will not be bound by minimum or maximum requirements for days in the office and will instead decide how they work based on the activities they need to complete.

End of the office?

That doesn’t mean the firm’s offices will close as they will remain important for client and employee meetings, collaboration and idea generation.

The firm is investing in technology and tools to help make the flexible future work, whether employees are in the office or at home.

"There's no question the pandemic has changed the way Canadians work, motivating many of us to reflect on our priorities and values, and what we need to sustain our mental and physical health," says Jacques Goulet, President, Sun Life Canada. "Throughout the pandemic, our employees told us they found comfort in our encouragement to flex their day. At a time when many businesses struggled, Sun Life's employee engagement in Canada increased significantly. We believe a flexible model gives employees more decision-making power, centred on our clients' and business needs."