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Farmers CEO Reverses Course to Require Hybrid Work Schedule for Employees

By | June 9, 2023

New Farmers Group CEO Raul Vargas has reversed a prior company decision to allow most workers to do their jobs from home by instituting a hybrid work schedule starting in September.

Despite some employees reportedly making major life changes – such as selling homes and relocating – after being told they could do their jobs from home, Vargas told employees they’d have to come to the office several days a week. The shift in thinking made national news, with the Wall Street Journal quoting outraged employees on company message boards.

Raul Vargas

Vargas took over as CEO at the start of the year after being promoted in October 2022.

“As business conditions – such as emerging from the pandemic – change, so must business approaches,” Carly Kraft, spokesperson for Los Angeles-based Farmers, said in an email to Insurance Journal.

Kraft said employees within 50-miles of a Farmers office must come in to work at least three day pers week.

“Our intent is to foster greater collaboration, creativity, and innovation while also providing better opportunities for learning, training, mentoring, career development and organic interaction,” Kraft said. “Based on business need and different types of positions, roughly 60% of Farmers employees will be hybrid, while other roles will be either virtual or in-office.”

Kraft said virtual work made sense during the pandemic but “adopting a hybrid approach in September 2023 is what makes sense for our organization now.”

“While many employees are excited about the opportunities ahead, we recognize that not all business decisions will be supported by all employees,” she added. “However, we have approached this with a great deal of thoughtfulness, including giving employees three months advance notice so they have time to adjust and make arrangements.”

According to data from Scoop Technologies, a software firm that said it has developed what it calls the Flex Index to monitor workplace strategies of thousands of companies, 52% of insurance companies mandated hybrid arrangements in May, up from 34% in February.

Topics Agribusiness

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Latest Comments

  • August 31, 2023 at 10:52 pm
    jT says:
    Why don't we pretend that COVID never happened and quit using that as a cop-out? Then think back to a time when everyone had to go to work to get paid. Trying to get good se... read more
  • August 29, 2023 at 10:39 am
    Ex FIG agent says:
    I was around when company employees changed arrangements with their agency force to make up for a huge corporate mistake when they didn't buy reinsurance and suffered the Nort... read more
  • July 4, 2023 at 12:07 am
    Proof is in the Pudding says:
    As a seasoned employee of another large insurance company that is almost exclusively remote, I can say that this will not serve Farmers well. We continue to face challenges wi... read more

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