Remotely Unique: Embracing Remote Work Culture in the Insurance Industry

In 2009, I had been working in-person at an insurance agency in Texas for seven years when I decided to return to my home state of California. The agency I worked for had shifted from physical paper binders and a bulky filing cabinet to a digital management system that allowed our team to service our clients more efficiently. With that shift, I recognized an opportunity to maintain the career status and tenure I’d built through experience and expertise – all despite a cross country relocation. So, I asked the company for a fully remote position and the chance to manage my team from a distance and became their first remote employee.

While successfully pioneering what a fully remote position at my former insurance agency looked like, I established a basis for how I managed my home life while simultaneously advancing my career. And I did it all while parenting my 3-year-old daughter. In 2017, C3’s inaugural year, I enthusiastically joined the team as a Client Executive. Today, my 3-year-old is 18, I have three boys 5 and under, and I am the Executive Vice President of Client Services overseeing all service divisions at C3. As a 20-year veteran of the industry, I live my passion for building up others. C3’s core values and vision allow me to fearlessly create remote work strategies for our high functioning teams who deliver the unique client experience that C3 has become known for. In growing my career and working remotely, I am grateful for the insurance industry’s ability to offer the best of both worlds in career and home life.

Flexibility

A key benefit of working remotely within the insurance industry is the flexibility afforded in terms of structuring workflow around what fits best into an employee’s schedule. At C3 I utilize the latitude to flex my day around our core hours based upon my individual priorities and how they shift day-to-day – especially as a mom. For remote employees within the insurance industry, flexing hours around home life equates to a productive schedule unhampered by a typical in-office timeframe. With personalization, work can be accomplished in the most efficient and effective manner and with limited distractions and interruptions often frequent in an in-person office setting. Even smaller factors like a reduced or non-existent commute contribute to an overall positive work environment that fosters a supportive employee culture of flexibility and adds time to my day.

For me personally, one of the most rewarding aspects of the insurance industry’s remote flexibility has been the ability to prioritize care for my son Daniel. Daniel has Down syndrome and between speech, occupational, physical, and other specialists, he receives 11 therapies per month at home. Being fully remote affords me the flexibility to schedule his appointments around my work meetings so that I can participate in his therapies and be his biggest advocate. Working remotely has 100% set me up to give him the best of me as his mother every day. To have such fulfillment as both a mom and a company executive – without making difficult sacrifices for one in lieu of the other – is a trait that often does not exist in other industries. I feel fortunate to have paved this path for myself as well as have the opportunity to encourage other women and mothers to consider the same.

Career Continuity

While in Texas, I lived near an army base where relocations were common. I noted that a remote position in insurance afforded a continuity of career despite a potential relocation – whether it be for a spouse’s career, other family circumstances, or simply a desire for change. A remote position in insurance negates any loss or stagnation in career advancement that typically accompanies a change with an in-office role. The recruitment phase, onboarding, training – they all take time away from upward mobility with the start of a new role in a new company. A remote position can continue seamlessly in an upward trajectory despite a necessary or desirable physical move or other major life event.

Leadership Roles

Insurance companies are at the forefront of recognizing the diversity that comes with a remote workforce, meaning they attract great talent and innovative thinkers from various backgrounds and a wide geographic range. The remote structure not only accommodates, but also is especially conducive to mothers and women as they advance into leadership roles, all with the simultaneous flexibility of working from home. A remote insurance position is unique in its ability to tap into different sources of talent, beneficial to an employee who has leadership ambition coexisting with a desire to work remotely and flexibly in order to be present at home. It allows for advancement and leadership with autonomy in a manner many other industries do not.

Yes, there can be some struggles with remote work in terms of building and maintaining colleague relationships. With a remote and hybrid cohort, the opportunities for over-the-cubicle chatting or water cooler conversations are absent. However, many companies like C3 make meaningful investments to bring their teams together for important collaboration, connection, and team building to nurture working relationships. An insurance company like C3 understands the benefit that hybrid and remote work offers its team members in terms of flexibility, autonomy, and work-life balance. Commitment and intentionality to creatively find ways for team building fosters and maintains relationships and mentoring among colleagues and allows us to create meaningful connections and networking between associates, again offering the best of both the home and corporate worlds. With a company like C3, nurturing connections and relationships between colleagues is at the top of the priority list and has helped me feel connected and supported.

Asked what advice I would offer a mom or woman looking to start a career in insurance, I would advise her to start wherever you can. Whether beginning in an administrative role or as an analyst or another entry-level position, with interest and ambition, your insurance agency will often finance your education and licensure while on the job. This path – unique in the insurance industry – offers a short runway to excellent career advancement commensurate with increased earnings. C3 as a business enthusiastic about investing in its team members and their career goals.

Ultimately, remote work within the insurance industry can help settle the balance between career ambition and home life goals – without compromising one for the other. With the flexibility and autonomy afforded by remote positions, like I’ve been fortunate to do, you can attain the best of both worlds.