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Collective Success

How Allstate employees are redefining their workplace

Good work can happen anywhere. That's why our employees can choose what's best for them. Turns out, better balance leads to better work.

April 19, 2024

In the summer of 2020, Allstate asked employees to think about the day when they could potentially return to an office. The survey results surprised company leaders. Many employees – 95% – wanted to keep the flexibility of more virtual work. The mission was clear: Build a workplace where employees can design the system that best fits their lives.

Flexibility is the future

Allstate's approach is simple: A flexible workplace contributes to a healthy work-life balance, which helps employees bring more passion and positivity to their jobs, regardless of location.

"What we're working towards matters so much more than where we work. Employee feedback and an experimentation mindset has and will continue to fuel how we make distributed work, work," said Lauren DeYoung, workplace futurist at Allstate.

Employees driving decisions

Leaders worked with their teams to figure out what was best for all of them. They got funding to test new ways to stay connected. From virtual improv classes to strategy meetings ending with an escape room, teams got creative.

In a recent survey with employees, 90% said they feel connected to their immediate team and of those who participated in targeted connection events, 91% were satisfied with the event.

Access and equity: Everyone matters

Remote work isn't just about convenience. For some employees, it's essential.

Bek Moody, senior recruiter in Human Resources, uses a wheelchair and used to drive from Chicago to the suburban Northbrook office before becoming full-time remote in 2015.

"It's really impacted the accessibility of my life," Moody said. "When I was going into the office, there were times I couldn't find parking, or things were really slippery, and I needed help, and it was really cold. It wasn't that Allstate didn't provide the accessibility needs; there's just times where things come up.

When you make something accessible, it's accessible for everyone. It matters for everyone. You could look at it like, 'Bek's in a wheelchair. We'll just let Bek work from home.' And that's fine. But realistically, it's benefiting everyone – even people who are interviewing or vendors or potential customers.

Bek Moody
Senior Recruiter

Embracing new norms

With many Allstate employees working from home more often, we looked at real estate in a new way. We sold our headquarters in Northbrook and donated items from the campus to more than 40 nonprofits. They got office supplies, home décor, sporting equipment, kitchen appliances, clothing and more.

We cut real estate spending in half — which allowed us to reallocate funds toward employees' home offices.

"Our philosophy in designing the future workplace … is focusing on the people, the real estate and the technology," said Megan Lenahan, HR communications senior manager.

In 2022, we opened a smaller office space in Northbrook, just across the street from the longtime home office campus. We also have offices in downtown Chicago, which means city and suburban employees both have a place to work or gather without a long commute.

"Our people have voiced what they needed and what they wanted with the flexibility. We've made changes to our real estate portfolio according to that. For the buildings that we do still have, we have to think about the technology and making sure that it's there to support people in the room, people calling in, so that everybody feels included," Lenahan said.

Employees gave feedback on the office experience and configurations — like "me space" for solo work and "we space" for collaboration. Now it's the blueprint for all Allstate offices.

"Employee connection thrives when we prioritize three critical elements: a variety of spaces for different work modes, a seamless experience, and abundant access to technology-enabled spaces," said Carla Sheron, senior manager, Workplace Strategy. "Offering spaces like quiet zones or socialization areas allows for employees or teams to find the best workspace for the day. We are continuing to get these elements rolled out … and listening to feedback from employees to improve the experience."

A culture of technology and innovation

A workforce that's spread out calls for new ways to build and maintain a common culture. Like an enterprise-wide recognition social network, digital spaces where employees can connect on podcasts and hobbies, and weekly resources on well-being. It's all part of our employee-first flexible workplace.

Not being tied to an office location means we can find talent almost anywhere. This has some tangible benefits:

  • A 23% increase in job candidates
  • Two times more applications for roles with flex work options
  • Around 50% of open positions filled internally, supporting growth and opportunities

And these positive results are just the beginning. We'll keep listening to employees so we can meet their workplace needs – now and in the future.

Careers at Allstate

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