Although the blizzard bearing down on the Northeast was not as intense as meteorologists had predicted--New York City mayor Bill de Blasio had declared that the storm could be the most significant in the city's history--the Manhattan-based Big Five publishing houses are taking the tack of many companies: shutting down offices and encouraging employees to work from home.
Hachette Book Group closed its offices in New York City and Boston on Monday, at 3 pm. A corporate spokesperson said staff has also been notified that the publisher's office will be closed tomorrow and "will update [employees] on the status as the storm develops."
Simon & Schuster closed its Manhattan headquarters Monday at 1 pm, and the office will remain closed on Tuesday. A corporate spokesperson for the publisher noted that the office "is open for those employees who do wish to work" there and employees can check with the hotline offering status updates about the building.
HarperCollins offered its staffers the option to leave the office early on Monday and a spokesperson said that employees "are encouraged to work from home [Tuesday]."
Corporate spokespeople for Penguin Random House said the company is "strongly encouraging" employees to work from home on Tuesday. In a note sent to employees they were told: " However, if you are able to travel to the office safely and without enormous delay, please know that the buildings will be open, but potentially with limited services." The publisher added that it plans to be open on Wednesday, knowing that some employees may face a "difficult" commute.
At Macmillan, a corporate spokesperson said the office did not close early on Monday, though employees were told to leave if they had "transit concerns." A decision was made on Monday night to close the office on Tuesday due to the traffic ban.
Note: This story has been updated to keep up with companies' evolving decisions about office closures.