Rock Ventures' 18,000 employees to work at home amid coronavirus concerns
Detroit — Mortgage mogul Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures wants its 18,000 employees to begin working from home starting Monday amid coronavirus concerns, part of a wave of prominent Michigan companies to do so.
Rock officials say that they've completed testing to prepare for the work-from-home-policy which will last until at least April 5.
"We are confident that we will see no disruptions or lapse in client service — regardless of our members' location," Aaron Walker, chief communications officer for Rock Ventures, said in a statement Friday.
Rock Ventures is among numerous employers taking precautions to protect their large workforces as the first confirmed cases of coronavirus emerged this week in Michigan, prompting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to close all K-12 schools and ban gatherings of 250 people or more.
General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. on Friday both urged employees who could work from home to do so. And all three Detroit automakers are canceling company events — all to minimize the spread of coronavirus. Manufacturing sites are expected to continue operations.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is "accelerating the deployment of working remotely" that is being rolled out "department-by-department," CEO Mike Manley wrote. The practice already is the "new normal," he said, at offices in China, Korea, Japan and Italy.
In the last three weeks, Rock said it purchased $4 million in equipment including laptops, monitors and docking stations to provide employees with the technology needed to operate at a high level. It has also increased its deep cleaning for critical employees who may need to be onsite.