April 1, 2021

Portico Adopts Hybrid Remote Work Model, Plans to Relocate

Like many organizations and companies worldwide navigating the pandemic, Portico found it necessary to shift to remote work in 2020. While working remotely may not have been ideal for some organizations, the experience proved highly successful for Portico. After careful analysis and surveying to understand employee preferences, Portico decided early this year to adopt a permanent hybrid work model that will bring most of its 160-some employees into the office intermittently.

“2020 allowed us to experience remote work without having to commit to it long-term,” said Stacy Kruse, Portico’s COO and CFO. “And our learnings were powerful. Since the pandemic landed, we’ve served our mission without missing a step. A majority of our employees encouraged us to incorporate what we’ve learned into our future work environment. And it’s become clear that the hybrid model requires much less office space – which would create long-term cost savings compared to increasing costs in our current location.”

With its current lease up for renewal in December 2021, Portico began the process of re-imagining its downtown Minneapolis office space in the context of a hybrid work force. After considering a variety of options — including a portion of its existing space and other downtown Minneapolis locations — Portico selected its new home about 10 miles south of downtown Minneapolis in Edina, a southwest suburb of Minneapolis.

“This new location,” said Kruse, “gives us the chance to take a small but wide-open space and shape it into one that will support a flexible, collaborative, wellness-oriented work environment. Of course, we’ll miss the culture and amenities of downtown Minneapolis. But the flexibility this new space offers allows us to fully embrace our new work model. And its proximity to major highways and unrestricted parking better support a workforce coming to and from the office intermittently and at various times during the workday.”

Rev. Jeff Thiemann, Portico’s president and CEO, emphasized that this decision was based, as all its decisions are, on how best to deliver quality, affordable benefits to those who serve while carefully stewarding ELCA resources. While Portico has been a long-time resident in downtown Minneapolis, Thiemann clarified that the benefits organization serves a national church community worshiping and serving in urban, suburban, and rural environments.

“I take great pride in Portico’s disciplined decision-making process,” said Thiemann, “and celebrate our ability to learn from our experiences and embrace change. From our new location, we’ll continue to be a good citizen and employer, embracing diversity and supporting local, national, and international communities through volunteerism, collaborative partnerships, and socially responsible investing. We’re excited about the possibilities our hybrid model offers.”