Our Return to Office Approach
05 October 2020
The following email was sent today to all employees.
We would like to acknowledge each of you for your hard work during this extraordinary time. Thanks to your outstanding commitment, we are making strides on important initiatives across our businesses, and that progress has been energizing for all of us. At the same time, many of us are stretched by the challenges posed by the pandemic, including managing homeschooling, caring for family members and friends, adjusting to new routines and coping with prolonged uncertainty.
During last week’s virtual global townhall and in the latest audio message, we shared how we are carefully thinking through a gradual “return to office” framework for our people around the world. Our clear guiding principle is people first − our priority above all else is your health and safety.
Our people-first approach successfully guided us as we transitioned more than 98 percent of the firm to working remotely, and our commitment to you will remain steadfast as we gradually welcome you back to our offices over time. As we all manage unique personal circumstances, flexibility will remain paramount. And, as we consider this next phase, your feedback will continue to be a critical input.
Colleagues in Hong Kong, mainland China, Stockholm and Tel Aviv have started gradually returning to the office; however, in certain cities, such as New York and London, it will take longer before we start to slowly increase the number of people in our offices. While there is no “one size fits all” solution for all of our offices around the world, we have been working with leaders across the firm to establish the key pillars of a measured return to office framework for our firm that accounts for people, community and facilities readiness:
- Consulting the relevant authorities, healthcare experts and other corporations: We are in constant dialogue with key stakeholders to assess health and safety conditions in our external environment across the various jurisdictions in which we operate globally.
- Establishing key protocols and preparing our facilities: This includes controls around building access, strict physical distancing measures, and enhanced cleaning regimes. We also continue to consider the feasibility of testing, subject to availability and more information on the accuracy of results. In addition, we are reviewing considerations around transportation, our cafeterias and on-site childcare and fitness centers.
- Setting guidelines for people in offices: Everyone will need to adhere to certain rules and guidelines to protect our Goldman Sachs community, including strictly abiding by the firm’s sick policy.
We will continue to learn and adapt as we move forward, and to communicate with you in a timely manner. In the meantime, we encourage you to read all communications sent to you regarding measures specific to your division and office, and to visit the COVID-19 site to access resources that can help support you during this period.
As we continue to make progress, we thank you for your dedication to the firm and to each other.
SARS CoV 2
Elizabeth Fischer uses an electron microscope to capture images of the coronavirus, which is about 10,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Fischer