GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - COVID-19 forced thousands of people in our area to work from home the past several months, and now the workforce at a large Green Bay utility will do that permanently.

As we were first to tell you, Wisconsin Public Service is closing its downtown Green Bay campus. The company is asking hundreds of employees to work remotely -- for good.

In November, the WPS main office on N. Adams St. and two smaller buildings next to it will go dark. Many of the 450 professional and administrative employees who work here will work from home, with a smaller but unknown number moving to WPS facilities on Ashland Ave. or work from other company locations.

“We evaluate our facilities to ensure they meet our needs, and what we’ve been able to find is our employees are efficient and productive while working remotely,” WPS spokesman Matt Cullen said.

Cullen says the 50-year-old office building is in need of significant upgrades. He points out these downtown buildings haven’t been fully used in a long time, making this a good transition time to continue working remotely.

“We feel this is the right moment, and our employees have demonstrated that we can make this transition.”

Employees started working from home in mid-March, and the vast majority still are.

We asked about employee morale with a remote workforce. Cullen said the company hasn’t received specific feedback from employees but called them “dedicated” and they’ve proven it can work.

No job losses are layoffs are expected.

“We do not expect that this will result in impacts to our customers or affect the service that they receive,” Cullen said. “Our focus right now is making sure we can help our employees make this transition as successfully and seamlessly as possible.”

WPS plans to put the 16-acre property up for sale.

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