Back To The Office Will Look Different Compared To 2019
Director & Officer (“D&O”) insurance premiums spiked and coverage narrowed last year as a result of COVID-19. As vaccinations are distributed COVID-related underwriting risk will begin to soften which will be reflected in lower premiums and broader coverage. All of this is to say do not expect every mid-to-large-sized company to be fully back to the office by XYZ date. For starters, the office work environment is never going back to December 2019. Why would 100% of companies ever want to bring 100% of their respective workforce back to the office 100% of the time? COVID has provided a golden opportunity for companies to reduce their commercial real estate/office footprint by some significant percentage. A portion of that capital can instead be invested in enterprise VPNs and related technologies that facilitate working from home. Microsoft (MSFT), Salesforce (CRM), Square (SQ), JP Morgan (JPM) and many other firms are planning for a future in which a significant percentage of employees will work from home. As the vaccine / D&O insurance/ COVID liability risk sorts itself out, more companies will begin to return to the office in phases. This process will largely be company-specific.