[UPDATE – 04/03/20] Our original time frame was for all employees work from home until April 5th. As per the current situation, that timeline has been extended to an unknown date until we feel it is safe for our employees to return to work. We hope all of you and your families are staying safe as well.
We’d like to take an opportunity to provide a general update on what Certain Affinity is doing to protect our employees, and our community, in both Austin and Toronto. Above all, keeping our employees and loved ones safe is our top priority when it comes to COVID-19. We also have a social responsibility to help prevent the spread of the disease throughout our community.
Our team has been diligently planning and coordinating our efforts across both of our studios, establishing strike teams for various aspects. Early on, we canceled all non-essential travel plans, conducted all candidate interviews digitally, implemented extra sanitary precautions, and began scaling up our remote-work capabilities.
As detailed in the news and from the government, one of the best actions that we can take to help slow the spread of the disease, besides rigorously practicing excellent hygiene, is exercising what’s known as “social distancing” in our daily lives. This means keeping physical contact and close proximity interactions with anyone who might be infected, or that we might infect, to an absolute minimum. Because many who are infected are asymptomatic, this means keeping contact with anyone outside of a tight circle to an absolute minimum.
Towards this end, we have asked all of our staff who are able to work from home effectively, to please do so in Austin and Toronto through April 5th. During this time, if an employee requests additional time for a medical or childcare exception, no one will be asked to use their sick leave or PTO. Additionally, we still request all staff adhere to social distancing. Per the CDC, this simply means “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible,” but here is a helpful article where experts weigh in further on the topic.
For those employees that have a need to come into the Austin office, we have set up additional separation to maintain proper distancing and updated cleaning and sanitizing routines.
All of the above will also help our community alongside the closures of many schools that have started and will likely continue until we can all collectively slow the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor this pandemic as it evolves, and we all hope these are the most drastic measures needed to keep our employees and our community safe.
For everyone reading this, we also wanted to provide educational opportunities. We hope that all of you remain safe as we all collectively combat this pandemic. We have selected a handful of great articles below. We’ll update this post with any relevant information as we move forward in time:
- “Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to ‘flatten the curve’”. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2020/world/corona-simulator/
- “The Do’s and Don’ts of Social Distancing” https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-what-does-social-distancing-mean/607927/
- Austin Community Guidance: http://www.austintexas.gov/COVID19
- Toronto Community Guidance: https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus