Politico employees in the United States will continue to work from home until at least May 4, management told staff in a memo Tuesday: “Given CDC guidance and ongoing developments, it is clear that we should not return to our normal routine as quickly as hoped,” the missive reads. In-person events are also canceled until that date, travel is restricted, and the brass note they were pleased to learn employees have adopted the conferencing platform UberConference not only for meetings but also “to organize virtual social gatherings, including happy hours and chats.”
Politico told its employees to start working from home on March 12.
We have a few important updates, but first and foremost our hope is that you are taking care of yourselves, physically and mentally. In one form or another, everyone has been impacted by COVID-19, and it is important to support each other. We are extremely grateful for the way everyone across the publication worked to quickly transform to a remote operation, and the spirit in which we have all worked together since being at home. Thank you, and with that we have a few important announcements:
WORK AT HOME EXTENDED: Given CDC guidance and ongoing developments, it is clear that we should not return to our normal routine as quickly as hoped. We realize that many decisions that are outside of our control will be made in the days and weeks ahead, but we have decided to extend our current work from home approach in all of our domestic outposts until at least Monday, May 4.
OUR OFFICES REMAIN OPEN: We need to keep our core journalistic and business functions up and running, and as such, our offices continue to remain open for those responsibilities at this time. Heightened safety measures remain in place, including increased cleansing, sanitizing and limiting nearly all visitors. Should you have any questions about these measures, please reach out to Traci Schweikert.
SOCIAL DISTANCING: We hope it is now clear just how important it is for each of us to practice social distancing—for ourselves and the greater community. Please continue to take steps to distance yourself, which will minimize the number of exposures and infections. In addition to using UberConference to conduct our official meetings, we have appreciated how some teams are using the platform to organize virtual social gatherings, including happy hours and chats. Please continue to support and talk with each other in ways like this!
MONITOR YOUR HEALTH: Please continue to monitor your physical health. Symptoms of COVID-19 could be difficult to distinguish from the flu, a cold, or allergies. We encourage employees with even minor symptoms, such as a head cold or congestion, to inform your manager and to err on the side of caution by practicing self-quarantine. Should those symptoms continue or worsen, please contact your health care provider ASAP. In addition, please make sure to keep tabs on your mental health as well, and take time for yourself each day. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to reach out to colleagues, managers, and friends when you need them.
TRAVEL: Our current travel restrictions remain in place. If you must consider personal travel, please do so judiciously and be mindful, make purposeful decisions, and consider others.
EVENTS: Live in-person events, internal and external, will remain suspended through at least May 4. As you may have noticed, the Product Team (including our Live Team) did an incredible job quickly transitioning to virtual events, which have been received incredibly well. Thank you to everyone across the publication who collaborated seamlessly to turn that around so quickly.
WHAT’S NEXT? As Robert Allbritton noted two weeks ago when announcing our work from home policy, we don’t know how long this situation will last, but will remain in regular, steady communication with you as circumstances evolve. And as Carrie stated yesterday during the virtual “Ask Me Anything’ newsroom session, we are committed to the same ‘employee-health and safety first’ approach that we have taken thus far in addressing this crisis. This includes understanding what is happening around us from a public health standpoint, but also from a familial responsibility perspective (for instance, schools being closed and other additional obligations that employees are being confronted with). The ground under our feet continues to shift, and know that you will have questions in the days ahead. No matter the topic—our policies, benefits, healthcare, or any other issue—please don’t hesitate to reach out to your manager, HR, or any one of us signing below about anything.
Let us hope that we will be able to resume to our normal work routines and lives as quickly as circumstances allow, and let us all continue to be there to support each other. We are experiencing this together, and together we will get through it.