Cox Enterprises tests off-site work for thousands of employees

Cox Enterprises’ corporate headquarters is in Sandy Springs.
Cox Enterprises’ corporate headquarters is in Sandy Springs.

Preparations as coronavirus spreads

Cox Enterprises is asking most of its nearly 6,000 employees in metro Atlanta to work remotely for the next three days, in what executives described as a way to test its systems as concerns grow about the new coronavirus.

While Cox executives described the effort as a drill, they said it also will reduce risks by having fewer workers together. They said they plan to assess systems and update employees Friday.

“We have no known cases of COVID-19 whatsoever on our campus,” Duane Ritter, a company senior vice president, said Tuesday.

“We are going to encourage our employees to work from home if possible,” he added later.

Sandy Springs-based Cox is a privately held company that includes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, cable and telecommunications giant Cox Communications and Cox Automotive, which encompasses brands such as Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book and Manheim. Local auction sites of Manheim are not being included in the current drill.

Cox leaders say they expect to eventually expand testing to all of Cox’s 55,000 employees around the nation.

Some local employees will continue to work at Cox sites, including those running presses to publish the AJC.

Businesses throughout the nation are contemplating how their operations will hold up if the novel coronavirus outbreak worsens and employees are limited from being at traditional workplaces. On Tuesday, Coca-Cola Company conducted a one-day test at its worldwide headquarters in Atlanta, asking employees to work remotely.

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