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Lionsgate has set a phased return for its studio workforce, to start on Oct. 4, as it brings to a work-from-home option for employees during the pandemic to an end.
The studio is also ordering that returning employees be fully vaccinated and observe mask protocols. “I know some of you can hardly wait to return while others have genuine concerns about coming back after 18 months at home. I’ve listened carefully to the feedback not only of my senior leaders but employees across the company, our response managers and our outside health and safety experts at CTEH,” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said to employees in an internal memo obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
For 18 months, most Lionsgate offices were closed except for those who chose the option of returning and not having their homes as their workplace. “I can assure you that all of this feedback has been incorporated into our planning, and we’ve taken a number of your suggestions to heart,” Feltheimer added.
The studio will open its doors gradually throughout October as varied studio departments and divisions in the U.S., Canada and the UK return to the office on a staggered basis. A “hybrid working model” will see most employees work from the office three days a week and work from home during the remaining two days of each week.
Lionsgate will stagger workdays and daily arrival and departure times to limit workstation capacity to 50 percent each day. And the studio is asking supervisors to accommodate employees with long commutes or child care concerns.
“All returning employees must be fully vaccinated and observe mask protocols,” the memo said. Lionsgate offices have been open since May 2021 under a voluntary return policy. The studio is also mindful that the delta variant COVID-19 has cast a shadow over any mandatory return-to-office plans.
At the same time, Feltheimer said some duties are better done in the office than when working remotely. “That’s where the collaboration between departments happens … that’s where the personal contact and spontaneous meetings happen … and that’s where and how we train our new employees and open new doors for existing ones. That is how we maintain our entrepreneurial culture that allows us to compete against companies many times our size,” Feltheimer argued.
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