Friday, October 22, 2021

iHeartMedia Issues Memo On New Work Environment

iHeartMedia says it will maximize its technology to create a new team work environment at stations nationwide. iHM's Bob Pittman, Chariman/CEO, and Rish Bressley, President/CFO have authored a memo regarding re-populating its offices as the pandemic loosens it grip on the nation.

According to the memo, some will continue to operate in work from home, while other workers will operate under what the company calls a "new work environment," utilizing the skills and new ways of working learned over the past 18 months that have increased productivity.

Here's the widely circulated  memo:

Ever since the pandemic hit there has been a great deal of discussion about "Return to Office." We initially thought that, once the worst of the pandemic was over, we'd all be returning to our offices and using them as a "home base" for our work environment in the same way as we always have.

But clearly that construct fails to take into consideration everything we've learned in the last year and a half -- from new skills and new ways of working to maximizing our technology to enable us to communicate, innovate and work together as a team. So we will never "return to the office" as we all knew it; instead, we'll be returning to a "new work environment."

At iHeart we expect this new work environment will enable greater productivity and at the same time be more responsive to how you live your life. It's an important new approach to reinventing the work environment for our company, and we think it will allow us to continue to better innovate and move more quickly than others can. Although we'll start as a hybrid of working from home and some use of the office, we know it will evolve as we learn together. We should all think about the office as a productivity tool, vs. that more rigid "home base" we've been used to - and the office will always be open for your use.

For example, there are some essential jobs for which employees have been in the office every day, and many of those will continue to be in the office. Some people have not been in the office at all over the last year and a half, and we anticipate that a few of those will continue that way. However, overall we think most people will have a hybrid approach, one in which they'll spend a period of time in the office every week, depending on what their team's needs are. And even that schedule may vary week to week, or even month to month, depending on what you are working on.

As we think about the office as a productivity tool, the primary values of productivity are collaboration and innovation -- and many of you are going to return to offices that have been redesigned and rebuilt over the past year to focus on collaboration at their heart. We have all found that if we need private time for task work we can do it from home - but the primary value of being in the office is to be around others, to collaborate and share and build ideas, so we're designing our new spaces to maximize interaction and collaboration.

Of course there will be some hurdles we'll need to address as we move forward, like tracking and measuring productivity, giving you the feedback you need, etc. - but as the number one audio company in America we want to be at the forefront of innovation in the work environment, and the fear of those hurdles should not restrain us from moving forward in any way.

On a practical note, your individual schedule will be developed with your managers, built around the needs and timetables of each location and function, and hopefully tailored to everyone's specific talents and jobs. In this process, the most important thing we can do is protect your wellbeing. To that end, we would encourage you to follow the latest recommendations for both vaccines and office protocols. We'll remain committed to providing you support through all our office and company policies.

We would not be able to implement this new way of working if you hadn't been so successful in executing at such a high level over the last 18+ months in such challenging circumstances, and we're extremely proud of what you all continue to build and accomplish. Our ability to evolve to this new kind of workplace is a testament to all the people who work here and your unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation. iHeartMedia is a true one of a kind company that leads, not follows - including envisioning and delivering the New Work Environment built around our core company values, which you'll find attached. We believe those values are more relevant and important than ever before and remain at the foundation of our company - including our new work environment.

Bob and Rich

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