Two of the Philadelphia region’s largest employers are taking steps to address the coronavirus crisis, with Independence Blue Cross letting employees work remotely and Comcast testing work-from-home scenarios.
Independence said Monday that it has offered all internal business areas the opportunity to work remotely, after several departments successfully started working from home last week. The company said it will continue to serve members, customers, and partners “at the highest level.”
“As a health care company and the region’s largest insurer, it is our responsibility to lead and above all else, protect the health and well-being of our employees, and in turn, the wider community,” Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO of Independence Health Group, the parent company of Independence Blue Cross said in a statement. “This approach will in no way affect the quality of our work as a company.”
In an internal memo sent Monday, Comcast told employees that a select few teams will test work-from-home scenarios in the coming weeks. The cable and media giant also limited international travel to “business-critical purposes only” as of Feb. 28. Domestic business travel is not affected at Comcast right now, but the company advised workers to ensure travel is essential.
“Where needed, we are implementing the right protocols and plans to ensure the safety of our teammates, including our front lines. Your health and safety is our top priority,” the memo said.
Comcast did not comment on the memo or its work-from-home policy.
Last week, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft told Seattle-area employees to work from home. Nationally, Twitter and Apple offered work-from-home options to most of their employees, as businesses try to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, which has killed nearly 4,000 people globally, including 26 deaths in the U.S.
Independence and Comcast each employ thousands of workers in the region.