EXCLUSIVE: Here’s another indication that the town is going back to some form of normalcy after more than year of lockdown from Covid: UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer sent a note to staffers today that employees can begin to work in agency’s offices again starting mid-June.
UTA’s Nashville offices will open their doors on June 1, Los Angeles office on June 15 with the expectation to reopen London by Aug. 31 and NYC by Sept. 7. To our knowledge, UTA is the first major talent agency to welcome back employees to the office in a gradual return as the pandemic calms down and vaccinations increase. Other agencies are actively exploring return plans. A more comprehensive plan detailing UTA’s new health policies, including use of communal space, mask requirements, etc. will be sent to employees in the near future.
As Zimmer explains below, those staffers returning “will be required to have been fully vaccinated”. This is based on a survey of UTA employees who feel strongly about that newly implemented policy, in addition to “the science and the guidance from experts” in creating a very healthy workplace. This is the first we’ve heard from any studio or agency in town requiring employees to be vaccinated upon their return to the office.
Also, as stated below, it is not mandatory for any UTA staffer to return to the office, even if they’re vaccinated, should they not feel comfortable. In regards to the immediate future, UTA employees will be working from a combination of in-office and at-home.
Deadline was able to get a copy of Zimmer’s email below.
From: Jeremy Zimmer
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2021
To: All UTA
Subject: Return To Office
With vaccinations rapidly increasing across the nation and California announcing plans to fully reopen by mid-June, I’m pleased to say a return to our UTA offices is near. More details will follow in the coming weeks, but at this point we are planning for a reopening of our Nashville offices on June 1 and our Los Angeles office on June 15. We plan for our offices in London to open on August 31 and New York on September 7.
A cross-company team has been consulting with experts and preparing for this moment for over a year. Over the coming weeks and leading up to June, we will share a comprehensive plan that walks through the specifics of our policies, including use of communal space, mask requirements and much more. Our guiding principles remain fixed on providing the safest possible work environment, ensuring personal choice for every colleague, providing the tools we need to serve clients at the highest level, and respecting all aspects of our culture.
There are two key pillars to this initial phase of our reopening, and they will apply to all our offices:
First, returning colleagues will be required to have been fully vaccinated. We know from our most recent survey of colleagues that this is something the vast majority of you feel strongly about. It follows the science and guidance from experts, and it places the highest priority on the health of our workplace. We will continue to evaluate this policy over time, as the situation in the regions where we operate evolves.
Second, we will maintain our policy of providing personal choice to all colleagues during this initial phase of our reopening. Any colleague not yet prepared to return to the office for any reason—even those vaccinated—will have full choice not to do so. If you’re not comfortable coming into the office, we understand that. If you have children at home until the start of the school year, we get it. If you have vacation plans in place, please take them. People will be working from home, the office and probably some combination of the two for the foreseeable future. As the situation in the areas where we operate evolves further, we will evaluate what we believe is in the best interest of our colleagues and our company, and the long term policies that make the most sense. No matter what, we are committed to ensuring a positive work experience whether you work from home or work from the office.
Again, there are many details left for us to work through and much more information will be provided. This pandemic is unpredictable, and we will continue to be flexible in our approach and make adjustments at any point necessary. Today, we wanted to put this marker down, so we can all begin to wrap our heads around this next transition. After more than a year of successfully working from home, and every one of our colleagues working so hard to keep our business strong and thriving, we are committed to getting this right.
We look forward to returning to the office.