WPP CEO Mark Read updated employees on the company’s latest thinking about reopening offices around the world. He shared his thoughts in a memo issued Monday that laid out some “general principals” the firm will follow as it reopens on a gradual basis.
He noted some offices are already open in Asia and Europe. But in places like New York and London, offices will open — but significant numbers of staffers aren’t expected back until September or October and maybe later.
And he stressed, as other companies have, that returning to the office will be voluntary.
“We will ensure that people can be flexible in how they and where they do their work to take into account individual situations.”
Safety is paramount, Read stressed. He added the firm will implement a phased return that ensures social distancing and follows government and public-health guidelines.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach or a single global timetable,” Read wrote. “We will re-open offices gradually and at different times depending on the location — taking into account local circumstances and official guidelines. We have offices in 112 countries and the status and impact of the pandemic is different in each of them. There may also be variations between cities and regions within countries.”
More broadly, the firm is looking at commutes to and from offices and how the pandemic experience might change the way WPP operates in the future. “As we look ahead, we will redesign how we operate around the needs of our people and clients in a changed world.” Read wrote.