UnitedHealth Group transitions to remote workers in International Falls

The International Falls Journal reports…

The office that houses employees of UnitedHealth Group and Optum will be shuttered, as staff transition to working remotely.

Rumors that the insurance manager and claims processing site is closing in the city is not accurate, said Lauren Mihajlov, Optum Health senior director of communications.

“We regularly offer people the flexibility to work from home or from a more traditional office, and the enthusiasm for working remotely among many of our team members in International Falls means we no longer need to maintain an office there,” she told The Journal Friday. “We have an outstanding team in International Falls and are committed to their continued success and to making this transition as smooth as possible for them.”

They will lose some tax base…

While he also said the loss of the tax base the facility provides is unfortunate, he said he’s encouraged the company will continue to employ people and even try to employ additional people who will work from their homes.

But technology is changing how people work – assuming they have broadband…

“This is a reminder the workplace is constantly changing,” he said. “Technology can flatten the geography, that’s always provided a bit of a challenge here because of our location. If you’ve got the prerequisite broadband (internet), it really doesn’t matter where you are. This is part of the evolution going on.”

Nevanen said a group working to expand broadband coverage locally will likely discuss the transition when it meets today.

This entry was posted in economic development, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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