Pan Macmillan has announced it is closing its offices from close of play this Thursday (19th March), "until further notice", and has asked everyone at the company to work from home "for the foreseeable future".
Anthony Forbes Watson said: "We have taken this decision in order to prioritise the health and wellbeing of everyone at Pan Macmillan and those who depend on us. We are well set up as a company for remote, flexible working, further to our move to The Smithson and our new way of working, and our intention is to continue to progress our business while operating virtually from home. I know that the team at Pan Macmillan will be as adaptable, creative and collaborative as ever, communicating in our usual open and energetic way to tackle every challenge and make the most of every opportunity as we enter these uncharted waters."
In preparation for the new set up, Pan Macmillan is running a test "work from home day" on Tuesday (17th March). The offices will be opened on Wednesday and Thursday for those who wants to come in to prepare for working from home, though no staff will be obliged to work in the office from now on. While the office is closed, there will be security in the building and the post room will remain open.
The Executive team have promised to review the situation at a minimum after three weeks. It comes after Boris Johnson, last night, asked people to work from home if possible.
Other publishers that have told staff to work from home include S&S UK and Penguin Random House UK (including DK), the latter of which have also cancelled all events until June. Bonnier Books UK has introduced "managed remote working" and Hachette UK is urging as many people as possible to work from home.