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Mark Read outlines WPP's 'slow and measured' plan to return to office

Employees commutes, lockdown situations, geographic impact of the pandemic - these are some of the considerations in place before reopening WPP's offices.

WPP's CEO Mark Read sent out a detailed memo outlining plans for his employees' return to work. Read stresses that it will be a slow and measured process and it's "hard to be definitive" about when WPP offices will reopen due to the COVID-19 situation differing from market to market. WPP currently has business sites in 112 countries.

PR Week reported that Read said: "In a few markets in Asia and Europe, we are opening offices now and some people are already starting to come back. In others, including London and New York, even when we do open offices we are not currently expecting significant numbers to return before September or October, and it may well be later."

Mark Read
Mark Read

The memo mentions that the offices will take individual situations into account. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach or a single global timetable,” Read wrote. “We will re-open offices gradually and at different times depending on the location – taking into account local circumstances and official guidelines. We have offices in 112 countries and the status and impact of the pandemic is different in each of them. There may also be variations between cities and regions within countries,” says the memo, as reported by Branding in Asia.

Read also adds that the lockdown measures in different parts of the world affect how business will be allowed to run. The memo mentioned that his priority was employees' safety and how each person commuted to work would be taken into account into the decision for reopening offices.

Read's memo also mentions a rethinking of the way that agencies and employees work in the future and stresses on what learnings we can take from this experience; both professionally and personally. "As we look ahead, we will redesign how we operate around the needs of our people and clients in a changed world," reads the memo.