// . //  Insights //  Is A Wave Of Change Coming For West Coast Health Workers?

Big announcements keep coming on the shift to more flexible and remote work. Technology firms have led the way in the Bay Area. However, there are those like big financial services firms on the East Coast who are pulling people back to the office. The healthcare industry today spans both traditional insurance all the way to technology and digital. Where will healthcare companies net out? Is West Coast healthcare actually moving as fast as neighboring technology firms to more flexible work? Or are payers and providers proceeding more cautiously?

To settle the score, we fielded a May 2021 nationwide survey of healthcare companies (payers, providers, tech/digital, and pharma).

What We Learned

Yes, healthcare as an industry is moving more aggressively than it was pre-pandemic to a hybrid and flexible working modelThis is true not only for payers but also for providers who are planning to move more non-patient-facing roles to remote or flexible models.

Change is Coming

The West Coast healthcare ecosystem is moving to more flexible too, but more slowly than the rest of the country.

Ninety-five percent of West Coast companies responding said they were making some change to increase more remote and hybrid roles. But none had formally announced the shift to their employees or the market, compared to 35 percent of companies in the rest of the country. This lag to peers in other parts of the US isn’t surprising given generally more conservative approaches in states like California that are only just reopening.

A wave of change is still coming for West Coast healthcare. This will have huge ramifications for talent retention and acquisition.

Get Ready, Get Set, Innovate

West Coast healthcare companies – are you moving fast enough to rethink your working model? Are you thinking about how you will recruit and retain given the rest of the country will be vying for your talent at greater scale – unbounded by geography? Ninety-two percent of companies said they will be geographically agnostic towards some roles in the future, compared to 36 percent pre-pandemic. Don’t take the slower pace of announcements in West Coast healthcare as an indication change is not happening. It’s time to prepare.

Read more about future work models and lessons learned from transitions so far on Oliver Wyman Health.