The dichotomy of hybrid work in Des Moines

Find out how Des Moines-based insurance company F&G has empowered its employees with workplace flexibility

November 01, 2022

In today's hybrid work landscape, there's a dichotomy between what's discussed publicly and privately—and many companies are doing all they can to get employees back in the office.


While many are wary of the uncertain political and economic climate, they're also concerned about productivity.

On the reverse side, employees engaging in hybrid work also have to balance a myriad of benefits and challenges. While opportunities for these employees can include an improved work-life balance, reduced commute times, and increased productivity and satisfaction, many also have to overcome hurdles like career stagnation, work/life overlap, and lack of direct mentorship and growth.

In JLL’s Implications of Hybrid Working report, hybrid work is defined as working in at least two different places at least once a week. Fifty-five percent of people participate in hybrid work, according to the report, but after two years of (sometimes entirely) remote work, office users are beginning their pilgrimage back to their office.

Early indicators show that employees who work in proximity to their managers may be more likely to reap rewards, such as exciting career opportunities and advancements, but some companies have shown a winning formula for the hybrid work model. So, how can employers and employees alike create a healthy hybrid working ecosystem? Read below to find out more.

F&G’s Hybrid Work Model

It's no secret that hybrid and flexible work schedules are celebrated by the masses.

Managers and caregivers especially appreciate this increase in workplace flexibility. In fact, JLL’s latest Workplace Preferences Barometer notes that 69% of Gen Y employees appreciate a flexible schedule while their successors, Gen Z, follow at an even higher 73%.

As companies continue to make decisions that impact their employees' office lives, it's imperative they assess data from multiple viewpoints. After all, hybrid work affects every level of the workplace ecosystem and finding the right balance between home and office that incorporates all of the good and none of the bad is hard to do.

To learn more about how to achieve this, we asked Des Moines-based F&G about its experience in welcoming employees back to the office.

“F&G has succeeded in welcoming employees back to the office by taking an employee-centric return-to-work approach, which includes maximizing versatility while maintaining a home base in Des Moines,” shared Renee Hamlen, SVP, Chief Human Capital & Brand Officer. “Providing our people the flexibility they desire is essential.”

Renee went on to share:

“Our hybrid approach of giving employees more of a choice in how, where and when they work was based in part on employee feedback, which helped us determine the best setup.

Building relationships and embracing our values are also core to our culture. That’s why we focus on opportunities to bring our employees together with initiatives such as ‘Connection Week,’ where team members from across the country and here in Des Moines come together to create a collaborative experience unique to F&G. Our most recent Connection Week saw two-thirds of our workforce come together. This contributed to nearly 100% attendance (virtually and in person) for our town hall meeting, which took place during the event.” 

The Future of the Office in Des Moines

In Des Moines, the third quarter of 2022 showed a reignition of activity in the downtown market. 

As more tenants look to make long-term decisions, we expect to see more transactions close as the year winds down.

“Moving forward, hybrid work is here to stay,” remarked JLL Managing Director Justin Lossner. “A requirement to return to the office in a full-time capacity will simply be the exception to the rule. This shift and ultimately long-term transformation has forever changed the business world as we know it. Today, we see more and more companies focusing on securing high-quality space as they rightsize their office footprints.”

As companies rightsize or reduce their footprints to accommodate hybrid work schedules, many are investing their saved money in high-quality, Class A office spaces. This phenomenon has led to more sublease space available to office users—altogether offering a wider range of options in this tenant-favorable market.