Washington Post publisher and CEO Fred Ryan told staffers Wednesday that some of them could expect to be back in the paper’s offices by July 6.
“Since the day we left our offices, a team of leaders across The Post has been working diligently to plan the right circumstances for our safe return,” he wrote on the one-year anniversary of the staff being asked to work remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Based on current projections for vaccine delivery and declining trends in new Covid cases, we believe we can now begin that process. We will initiate the gradual return to our Washington headquarters beginning on Tuesday, July 6, starting with approximately 10% of our overall workforce.”
He thanked the production, engineering, human resources and security teams for keeping the paper up and running “as one crisis has shifted to the next” in the tumultuous year.
“Our plan would be to scale up as safety permits with the expectation that everyone would be able to return to the office sometime this fall,” he continued. “The initial stages of the return will be voluntary with accommodations made to family needs, temporary relocations and health needs of our employees. This will inevitably be a complicated process, and we expect that we will learn a lot along the way, including what we need to enable true collaboration between those in the office and those working from other locations. We will expect those who return to our offices have received their full doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.”
The Post is among other outlets announcing tentative return plans this week. CNN’s Jeff Zucker told staffers Thursday that Atlanta-based employees could expect to start returning on Aug. 1, while other American offices will see returns beginning Sept. 1. Zucker said there will be allowances for “flexible” schedules, work-from-home opportunities and no requirement for return.
These announcements are not necessarily new: Last year, numerous publications sought to get employees back into the office and emailed staffers with details, only to postpone those re-entries.