In a move to accommodate employees in its New York City headquarters who are concerned about the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, Penguin Random House is offering New York–based staffersthe ability to work from home.
In a memo, PRH US CEO Madeline McIntosh said that the company knows of no one in the PRH community who has been exposed to the virus. Still, McIntosh wrote, “given the quickly-moving developments in the New York City region, I know that many people may no longer feel comfortable commuting or working in our New York City offices. Therefore, if any of you working at 1745 or 1450 Broadway (DK) can work from home, we encourage you to speak with your supervisor to make plans to do so.”
McIntosh noted that the publisher's two offices will remain open and operational and that the enhanced cleaning protocols the company has been using the last several weeks will continue. She also emphasized that, given the geographic nature of the spread of the virus, it does not plan to issue company-wide guidelines for the U.S. “Instead,” McIntosh wrote, “our leadership and task force teams will continue to constantly monitor the situation in the communities where we operate and make decisions for their locations and populations.”
If the threat of the virus demands more aggressive measures, McIntosh said plans are in place. “We have business continuity and contingency plans in place in order to ensure that PRH remains able to fulfill our ultimate goal: to get books into the hands of readers around the world,” she wrote. “That being said, we are focused first and foremost on maintaining the health and well-being of our employees. That priority will guide all of our planning and preparation now and in the future. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and your families.”