Discovery Inc. is the latest company to update employees on a shift from remote work, telling its global staff of more than 10,000 they can plan to be back in their offices on September 1 instead of a start date previously set for June.
In a memo sent Thursday, the company’s Chief People and Culture Officer Adria Alpert-Romm said a recent survey showed staffers weren’t sure about heading back to the office as they continue to navigate through the pandemic.
She said offices in regions “where it makes sense” could open sooner but promised “plenty of notice.”
Discovery’s staff is spread over 200 countries and territories where the situation can be wildly different in terms of Covid-19. Cases are falling and vaccines are rolling out at an increasingly brisk clip in the U.S. That’s not the case in much of Europe, for instance.
Still, a measure of visibility appears to have companies looking hard and at least trying to set dates one full year after the global pandemic shuttered the global economy. ViacomCBS said today that U.S. employees can start to return to offices after July 4 on a limited and voluntary basis. Deadline reported Thursday that WarnerMediais also is eyeing early September for its U.S. staff.
Here is Alpert-Romm’s full memo:
Hi All —
Hope you are having a great week.
#DiscoveryWorksRemote Extended Through Sept. 1
Results from the recent Employee Pulse Survey showed that those of you who have been working remote have found the experience to be helpful, but you aren’t sure about returning to the office at this time especially as we continue to navigate through the global pandemic. To help everyone manage work and personal demands and to be able to plan for the future, we have made the decision to extend #DiscoveryWorksRemote through September 1. We hope that with the increase in vaccine availability and a continued decline in cases, schools will begin to reopen in the fall and this extended time will allow you the flexibility to plan around our eventual return to offices.
It is possible that offices will open in a reduced capacity prior to the start of September in regions where it makes sense. When situations like this arise, we will give plenty of notice so you can plan accordingly.
If you work in an office that has reopened, you will still have the opportunity to go in on a flexible basis. However, you should feel comfortable choosing to work from home through September 1. As always, the health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will share additional information as it becomes available.
Additionally, I encourage everyone to schedule and take some vacation time to unplug and recharge in the coming months.