Church Mutual committed to cautious return to offices
With COVID-19 still a concern, Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. isn’t taking any chances with the health of its employees. The company has extended temporary telecommuting for the hundreds of employees who typically work at the Home Office and CM2 facilities in Merrill.
“We are committed to protecting the health and safety of our people and that remains our top priority,” said President and CEO Rich Poirier. “We have set certain standards we need to see in terms of COVID-19 infection rates and the availability of effective treatments before we can begin a careful, phased-in transition back to the offices. The current trajectory of COVID, especially up here in central Wisconsin, is not looking favorable at this time.”
The company is being cautious to protect not only its employees, but also their families and their communities.
“Our responsibility, as a good corporate citizen of Merrill, is to not bring large numbers of people together in our offices at a time when the risk of COVID-19 transmission remains high,” Poirier said.
Company leadership will revisit the return-to-offices plan monthly, examining data and infection rates, to determine when a gradual return to the offices can safely begin.
Church Mutual established “pandemic telecommuting” protocols in March and sent nearly all of its office employees home. That work-from-home exodus included the offices in Merrill, Madison, Pennsylvania and Colorado.
Working the past few months in a largely remote environment, Church Mutual and its employees have embraced their reshaped reality. Productivity has remained high and business performance is strong.
“I’m proud to say our business is not only surviving this year, we are thriving – in spite of a business environment that’s been compared to the Great Depression and the Great Recession combined,” Poirier said. “We have maintained exceptional service to our customers and provided them with resources to face their own pandemic-related challenges.”
While there’s no hurry to repopulate the offices, Church Mutual is committed to resuming its physical operations in Merrill when the COVID-19 threat subsides.
“I can assure you we will return to offices at some point in the future, but only when it’s safe to do so,” Poirier said. “Our intent is to return to a primarily brick and mortar workplace. We will not become a permanently virtual company.”