Mark Read, the global CEO of WPP, the world's biggest advertising company with 130,000 employees, has told staff to work from home starting today to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
WPP, which had already cut international travel, extended the ban to domestic flights.
In an email, quoted by Campaign US, at the weekend, Read says: "The next few months will be tough, but I have every confidence in our ability to come through this situation together."
In Australia, a WPP AUNZ spokesperson: “WPP AUNZ is working closely with its brands, leaders and employees to implement the policy of Managed Remote Working and restricted travel. Protecting the health of our employees is of the utmost importance, and taking these steps will also ensure we remain very much open for business.”
At WPP global, Read acknowledged that working remotely has its own set of challenges and anxieties.
"We are all worried about our friends and family, particularly those most vulnerable," he says.
"I’d like to ask you to make sure that your colleagues are alright and show that you care about them. Small gestures can mean a lot at the moment so please do look out for each other. It’s important and will make a difference."
WPP will maintain safe office environments with greater physical distance and cleaning for those who need to come in to work.
"Next week your leadership teams will provide you with more detailed information on the roll-out of Managed Remote Working in your company, what it means for you and how we will support you," he says.
"It is important to state that we remain open for business. I have great faith in each of you to adapt to this new way of working and know we will continue to meet our responsibilities to our clients and each other."
In China and Italy, WPP staff have been working remotely for some time, demonstrating that the company can continue to operate effectively, deliver to clients and win new business.
"Let’s also remember what we can all do personally to help, like following official advice on regular and longer handwashing and social distancing, not coming into the office if you feel unwell, and observing the self-quarantine guidelines of your government or health authority," he says.
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