ViacomCBS Says ‘Majority’ of Employees Will Work From Home Until 2021

Decision comes amid renewed spikes of COVID-19 cases

Last Updated: July 15, 2020 @ 10:22 AM

ViacomCBS doesn’t expect the majority of its employees to be able to return to its offices as coronavirus cases continue to surge in the United States.

“While we were hopeful we’d be able to bring a small number of employees back to U.S. office locations beginning in August, due to recent spikes it’s clear this will not happen. In fact, at this point, we are assuming the majority of employees will not be returning to U.S. offices this year,” said ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish in a memo. “Given the continued trajectory of the virus, we believe having fewer people commuting and gathering is best.”

Currently, the United States has more than 3 million cases of the COVID-19 disease, by far the highest in the world, with more than 130,000 deaths. Though New York City, where ViacomCBS is located, has seen its numbers dwindle since its peak earlier this spring, other states including California have seen their caseloads rise dramatically.

Bakish also mentioned ViacomCBS’ efforts to restart physical production on its films and TV shows, which has been made all the more challenging by the new spikes in Los Angeles County (the county hit a record for daily infections on Tuesday with more than 4,000 reported cases).

“We’re collaborating with our industry partners at the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and government organizations on industry-wide recommendations, as well as determining our internal process for planning and evaluating all ViacomCBS productions,” he said. “In addition to the few productions that have returned domestically and internationally, all of our businesses have been working hard to develop highly detailed and thoughtful plans for each of their unique shows, events, features and series to get them back into production under these new safety protocols.”

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