Find out how implementing
a telecommuting program
can positively impact
your bottom line.

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Business Type:
Insurance

Business Size:
Large
Multi Site
Multi Functional

Location:
Bloomfield, CT
Philadelphia, PA
CIGNA
Business Issue
In 2002, CIGNA Corporate Services Department in Philadelphia was looking for more efficient ways to use real estate and reduce the cost of employee overhead.

Telecommuting Solution
CIGNA Corporate Services conducted an assessment and decided there were two job classes that were particularly suited to working at home:
  • Claims workers: This class of workers has defined work steps, does not require minute by minute supervision and can be managed with metrics such as accuracy and the number of claims processed.
  • Field care managers: These nurses manage a caseload and conduct home visits. Requiring field care managers to go to a central office was considered by the employees an imposition and burden.
CIGNA introduced ework, its formal telecommuting option as a pilot in 2002. The resounding success for nurse case managers resulted a year later in the extension of formal telecommuting to the claims processing department. Today more than 3,000 CIGNA employees nationwide are formal telecommuters working out of their homes and without space in corporate offices.


Key Telecommuting Challenge
Executives found it was critical that employees understand and agree to company expectations for the ework program. To facilitate that understanding, a written policy was developed and reviewed with each telecommuter during a face-to-face meeting. One of the items specifically concerns child care and explains that ework cannot be used as a substitute for day care arrangements.

Telecommuting Results
  • Turnover down: The pilot ework program for nurse case managers cut turnover by 55% between 2002–2003. This was particularly important in light of an ongoing nursing shortage. After a general rollout, turnover has been cut by 30%, less than the pilot but still significant.
  • Major savings on real estate: By 2005, 11% of CIGNA’s workforce worked full time from home. CIGNA Corporate Services closed a building and discontinued space allocation for those workers.
  • Improved productivity: CIGNA attributes measurable productivity improvements to reduced absenteeism, less time commuting and reduced turnover. Participating employees are staying with the company longer.
"We used telecommuting to drive down the square-feet-per-employee costs. And when you can close an entire office it is more than just their personal space, you save on common space as well. It is OK if you can close a cubicle. It’s more helpful if you can close an entire office."
    - Bryan Barber, Vice President of Operations, CIGNA




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