WarnerMedia Tells Staff To Work From Home Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

AT&T’s WarnerMedia is the latest company to tell employees to work from home in an abundance of caution over the spread of the coronavirus.

“Beginning Monday, March 16, all WarnerMedia employees around the world who are able to work remotely are encouraged to do so until further notice,” John Stankey, president and COO of AT&T and WarnerMedia’s CEO, said in a memo to staff Friday. He said the company’s offices will remain open for employees who need to continue working there, or to pick up their equipment or resources to work remotely.

WarnerMedia joins the list of media and entertainment companies that have been taking similar steps for employees to stay out of the office and hopefully out the path of the spreading pandemic.

In a separate, similar memo, Bob Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, said, “It’s a critical time for our business on many fronts and we have already achieved so many impressive results together over the last year. That’s a testament to all of you. There’s no reason this all can’t continue – especially with the launch of HBO Max right around the corner. To that end, we’ve decided to make some fundamental adjustments in how we work.”

Here’s Stankey’s full memo:

Colleagues:

I want to let you know how much I appreciate everyone’s efforts while COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty.

As a global unified organization, it is important we take action that not only best takes care of our people and our business, but also the communities and resources around us.

Beginning Monday, March 16, all WarnerMedia employees around the world who are able to work remotely are encouraged to do so until further notice. We will provide updates on the timeframe as we continue to evaluate trends and developments. For those whose jobs cannot be done remotely, business leads are working closely with HR partners and managers to support employees in those roles and will follow up directly. Please note that our offices will remain open for employees who need to continue working there, or to pick up their equipment or resources to work remotely.

This is recognizably a significant shift, and I’d like to highlight a few key points behind this very important decision:

First, we take the health, safety and well-being of our employees, their loved ones, and our community, very seriously. We are committed to helping limit the spread of the virus and risk of exposure.
We can help minimize stress on the resources and infrastructures around us by doing our part to reduce population density in our commutes and daily activities, in efforts to help reduce spread of the virus.
In support of our colleagues who need to continue working in our offices, we need to help reduce population density and risk of exposure in those locations by minimizing the on-site staff.

We have come a long way in the last year in terms of how we work as a unified company and I am confident that we are ready to work differently to succeed through this unique challenge. We will have to actively work with leaders and teams to develop and employ new techniques that drive connection and progress in a dynamic environment. I have seen us build skills around agility and collaboration, and I have no doubt that we will succeed together.

Remember – there are steps you need to take before Monday to ensure you are prepared to work remotely. And there are tools to help us do so seamlessly, collaboratively and productively. It’s all accessible on the WarnerMedia ONE Remote Working Resources page.

Of course, as is always the case, there will be times where this won’t be easy, but we have an opportunity to come out stronger and better as we learn new ways to dynamically navigate in this new work environment.

Once again, thank you for all you do.

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