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McCann leaked memo details the first phase of reopening agency's offices in the U.S.

Adage India 2020-08-19 02:42:05

Diamond says “our people have been working exceptionally hard."

“We wanted to make sure we have these collaborative spaces for the people who can return,” Diamond says, acknowledging that there are “some people who unfortunately have underlying conditions or have family members with underlying conditions who will feel they can’t come back into the office.”

He says he anticipates the first wave of employees to return will be “a small percentage.”

Diamond and Kolb said in the email that each office has “submitted a plan that takes into account the many factors needed to bring people back into physical contact. As such, each plan is geared to recognize the need for social distancing and local differences (transportation, school openings, state and local guidelines), evaluates workspace accessibility and gauges the local support infrastructure needed to safely and effectively open the space, and once again bring people into the same physical space,” the executives wrote in the email.

Diamond explains to Ad Age that the details of the return-to-office plans are dependent on individual local offices leaders, noting how McCann’s main U.S. hubs in California, Utah, Michigan, New York and New Jersey “are all in different places right now.”

In the email, Diamond and Kolb noted that, in some countries in China and the Middle East, employees have already returned to the office, “while our offices in LATAM and California, where the pandemic is at a different stage and where populations are denser, will probably not begin an initial phase anytime soon.”

To Ad Age, Diamond adds that McCann has been able to carry out certain production shoots in some countries outside of the U.S. as well as domestically in places like Los Angeles and Atlanta.

According to the email, the agency’s first phase “will be focused on creating collaborative workspaces only.”

Diamond tells Ad Age that McCann will be monitoring how the first phase of reopening turns out before making any further plans. 

“Collaboration spaces will be limited, large open areas where people can meet to participate in new business pitches, work on creative reviews or discuss other important issues,” Diamond and Kolb wrote in the email. “They are designed to help you accomplish those tasks that are best served by in-person conversations. These spaces will be outfitted with all necessary technology to enable those working from home to join in any in-person meetings.”

The two execs said those “collaboration spaces can be maintained as long as every person follows the protocols of social distancing and proper safety measures. Specific guidelines and procedures circulated by leadership in your respective offices will include instructions on how to request, reserve and access them,” the email read.

Diamond and Kolb added that McCann will also have “a limited number of reserved desks where individuals can store their belongings, work and eat while in the office.”

“We have spent the last few months evaluating, finalizing and implementing details around such factors as elevator use, lobby access, security, cleaning, and HVAC enhancements/safety, as well as solidifying building entry rules and guidelines for gaining access,” the executives wrote. “These safety details include a number of measures, including private and confidential health screenings as well as protocols for maintaining high-touch areas throughout our spaces.”

The full email is below.

To All,

As the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day, approaches, we wanted to update you on the progress of our return to office plans in the U.S. We have been working through the myriad of challenges involved and have developed a phase-in plan that is detailed and measured, and we are pleased to share that we are now ready to begin our phased approach for returning to our offices.

First: Everyone’s health and safety is our primary concern.

While the Covid-19 infection rate has been flattening at a faster rate in some locations more than others, the disease threat has not gone away. Any return to office in the U.S. will be completely voluntary for the foreseeable future.

We do not want anyone to feel pressure to return to the office. Technology has proven that we can work remotely very effectively, which means that many of you can continue to work from afar, and that we can create and maintain an office environment that is both accessible and safe for those who want to use it.

Each of our offices has submitted a plan that takes into account the many factors needed to bring people back into physical contact with each other. As such, each plan is geared to recognize the need for social distancing and local differences (transportation, school openings, state and local guidelines), evaluates workspace accessibility and gauges the local support infrastructure needed to safely and effectively open the space, and once again bring people into the same physical space.

Your local leaders will be in touch with you soon with specific details around the plans for each one of your respective offices.

Our initial Phase 1 opening will begin in September and will be focused on creating collaborative workspaces only. Collaboration spaces will be limited, large open areas where people can meet to participate in new business pitches, work on creative reviews or discuss other important issues. They are designed to help you accomplish those tasks that are best served by in-person conversations. These spaces will be outfitted with all necessary technology to enable those working from home to join in any in-person meetings.

Our collaboration spaces can be maintained as long as every person follows the protocols of social distancing and proper safety measures. Specific guidelines and procedures circulated by leadership in your respective offices will include instructions on how to request, reserve and access them. Additionally, in most offices we will have a limited number of reserved desks where individuals can store their belongings, work and eat while in the office.

We have spent the last few months evaluating, finalizing and implementing details around such factors as elevator use, lobby access, security, cleaning, and HVAC enhancements/safety, as well as solidifying building entry rules and guidelines for gaining access. These safety details include a number of measures, including private and confidential health screenings as well as protocols for maintaining high-touch areas throughout our spaces.

For now, the vast majority of you will continue to work remotely. Again, to be clear, we do not want anyone to feel pressured to come into the office. If a meeting or activity is taking place where your participation is needed, we will make sure that the technology is in place for you to join remotely if you so choose. If you have any specific concerns, please let your local HR team know and they will respond to you directly.

Additionally, we remain sensitive to local differences, so the pace of our phase-in plans will vary around the world and in the U.S. depending on a wide set of legal, epidemiological, population and transportation factors. For example, in certain countries in China and the Middle East, our teams have already returned to the office, while our offices in LATAM and California, where the pandemic is at a different stage and where populations are denser, will probably not begin an initial phase anytime soon.

Finally, we personally want to thank you for the incredible job you have done during these challenging times. Your collaborative support of each other, despite the considerable obstacles, has been a tribute to the depth and substance of our spirit, culture and capabilities. As we move ahead, please know that our plans will continue to focus on your health and safety, as well as the health and safety of those closest to you.

—Harris & Bill