Penguin Random House US ceo Madeline McIntosh updated the company’s previous direction to employees: “We’ve made the decision that everyone in our New York, Colorado Springs, and Emeryville offices who can work from home should now transition to do so; plan for today to be your last day in the office, for the time being…. Guidance for Woodland Hills, Westminster, Crawfordsville and Reno is being provided by local leadership.”
Additionally, PRH ceo Markus Dohle wrote to staff worldwide: “The geographic nature of the spread of the virus means that we won’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for all of our offices worldwide. Instead, we have established localized coronavirus taskforces that are constantly monitoring the situation in their country of operation and regularly meeting to determine how best to keep all of you healthy and safe.” He noted, “We are currently facing unprecedented and uncertain times, but what’s clear and consistent is that we will continue to be guided by our core values and principles, priority among them maintaining the health and well-being of our employees. As a global community, we care deeply about one another, and I know we will overcome the challenges ahead with the strength, support, and compassion that have always defined us.”
Following “a successful remote working test” on Thursday, HarperCollins told NYC-based employees “they should consider the option of working remotely if their role allows. The 195 Broadway office will remain open for all those who do not wish to or cannot work remotely.”
On Friday a Macmillan spokesperson announced it is “shifting to a full-time work-from-home environment for Trade and Shared Services, starting on Monday, March 16. The office will remain open for now, and will be accessible during normal business hours, but the goal is to minimize work happening in the office to the greatest extent possible.”
Abrams ceo Michael Jacobs told employees “we are providing the technology and support so that the company and our staff can work remotely beginning Monday, March 16.” He noted, “We intend to run our business, serve our customers, and work with our creative talent and our staff to continue to further our publishing mission. Even if we have to do it in new ways, I am confident that it will bring out the best in us. I’m also certain that we are up for the challenge.”
Amazon expanded their work-from-home-if-you-can policy from certain specific areas to employees worldwide, through the end of March. More importantly, they have announced support measures for employees and contractors: They will “provide up to two weeks of pay to all employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine,” and said they will continue to pay all of the hourly employees who support their facilities (including food service workers, security guards and janitorial staff).
Most of the big talent agencies have joined in implementing work-from-home policies: ICM did so for New York and Washington, DC employees starting Thursday, and LA employees starting Friday. Curtis Brown UK is “trialling working from home over the next week.”
UTA closed their physical offices worldwide until further notice; CAA made work from home optional starting on Wednesday; Paradigm has employees working from home in LA, New York, Nashville and Chicago.
Also, The MacDowell Colony will close temporarily and send visiting artists home. Executive Director Philip Himberg notes, “The last time our residency program closed was in the wake of the New England Hurricane of 1938.”
The BISG postponed their April 24 annual meeting to September 11. Barnes & Noble ceo James Daunt has agreed to remain the closing keynote, and the balance of scheduled speakers are being confirmed. Anyone who registered has the option for a full refund.
The IPBA cancelled their Publishing University (April 3-4). They “will offer several options for the registration and sponsorship fees already paid, including deferring them to IBPA Publishing University 2021, keeping them on account to use toward other IBPA products, or receiving a full refund.”
KNK postponed their April 22 Thought Leadership program to the fall, and will update later on a new date.