Note: The following is a press release from Gov. Charlie Baker’s office.
BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration released a partial list of employers who are committing to continuing work from home policies for the foreseeable future as a way to provide more flexibility for their employees and greater capacity for social distancing on the state’s public transportation system. Partnering with leading employers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baker-Polito Administration is planning a phased reopening process that balances public health precautions with reopening the economy during the pandemic. The companies cited, including some of the largest employers in Massachusetts and totaling 150,000 employees, will have significant portions of their workforce working remotely for the rest of the spring and, in numerous cases, beyond.
The Baker-Polito Administration has also issued guidance for all state employees to extend the current remote workforce arrangements for the Executive Branch to reflect health and safety provisions of the re-opening phase. This guidance will stay in effect until further notice.
“I continue to be amazed by the ingenuity and toughness that the people of Massachusetts are displaying in this fight and these employers are taking the right steps to balance work and health,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As Massachusetts businesses reopen, we are asking employers to continue to work from home when they can so that more social distancing remains possible in our transit system and in our workplaces. We are home to some of the smartest and most innovative economies in the world and I know we can and will rise to this challenge together.”
“Working from home when it’s possible works for employees in higher risk groups, those with children but no child care or school and those who may simply be anxious about returning to the workplace,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “And it works for employers, because keeping even part of the workforce working from home on any given day makes social distancing easier in the workplace. What was a crisis response plan is now a win-win strategy that meets the needs of companies and their workers.”
These employers plan to evolve Work From Home from their current status to a flexible strategy that slowly brings workers to workplaces as needed. Depending on the employer, some companies may consider arrangements such as staggered shifts or flexible work schedules that help avoid rush hour traffic congestion and crowded buses and trains on our public transit systems. For the Massachusetts economy to recover, more and more workers will need to return to workplaces, from offices to restaurants, and from laboratories to medical offices. Keeping employees at home who can successfully work from home will help the MBTA to provide less crowded transit for employees who must go to a workplace at specific, inflexible times for their shifts.
The Massachusetts Competitive Partnership (MACP), Massachusetts Business Roundtable (MBR), Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM), Massachusetts High Tech Council (MHTC), Massachusetts Biotechnology Council (MassBio), and Kendall Square Association (KSA) polled their member companies regarding their plans for extending Work from Home (WFH) policies even after the MA economy reopens. Scores of companies, including the fifty-four (54) companies employing an aggregate of approximately 150,000 employees listed below, have responded that they will be extending their WFH policies for the remainder of the spring, with numerous reporting intentions to extend into the summer and, in some cases, for the remainder of 2020.
Companies that will continue to extend their Work from Home policies past the reopening date include: