Community Update: Plans for Returning to the Workplace

As the ‘stay at home’ orders begin to lift and offices begin to reopen, we want to share an update about our plans to return to the workplace. From the onset of the public health crisis brought by COVID-19, we have been committed to following the guidance of local and national officials and public health authorities in Massachusetts, North Carolina and the countries around the world where we have operations.

As we consider our own ‘return to the workplace’ plan, we are prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of our employees, their families and our communities and continue to rely on official guidance, taking a careful, conservative, phased approach tailored to each country and office.

 

Prioritizing Employee Health, Safety and Well-Being

We are directing all employees who can effectively work remotely to continue to do so and providing them with the flexibility and support they need. For those who have to work on-site, we have implemented strict measures to maintain employee health and safety. In addition, we continue to suspend in-person participation at large events, conferences and medical congresses, and to strictly limit business travel.

Going Beyond Guidance

Over the past few months, we have been meeting, and, in some cases, exceeding the official guidance to protect our essential workers. All employees working on-site undergo temperature testing and are screened for symptoms where local regulations allow. We are also following physical distancing guidance, ensuring access to personal protective equipment and have strict illness and cleaning protocols in place.  

Creating Effective Ways to Serve our Patients and the Medical Community

We continue to be focused on delivering vital medicine to patients. We have adopted new models and digital technologies to engage with each other, our external stakeholders and to support the needs of patients and the medical community. We have implemented several initiatives to advance this effort, including adapting the way we conduct clinical trials, virtualizing customer engagement practices and applying digital technologies to collaborate with patient groups and the medical community. We believe that this crisis can be a catalyst for change and for re-inventing the way we conduct business in service of patients and the medical community everywhere.

Re-engaging With U.S. Customers

Biogen is taking a data-driven, thoughtful and phased approach for determining when it is safe to re-engage with customers and patients for in-person meetings. We are prioritizing the health, safety and well-being of employees, customers and communities and actively monitoring local conditions across the country to adjust our guidance as conditions change.  

We have carefully begun in-person customer meetings in some regions of the United States. To be approved to meet with customers in-person, U.S. field teams must be in regions that meet several criteria including local government mandates relating to COVID-19, customer guidelines and other important considerations.  

U.S. field employees have been equipped with personal protective equipment (PPE) and are required to monitor their temperature and verify their health each day if they plan to engage with customers. Employees who are at high risk for COVID-19 will continue to work from home.

Taking Meaningful Action for Our Community

We are inspired to see first-hand the many individuals, communities, organizations and companies rising to the challenges we are all facing together with this public health crisis. Biogen was the first biotechnology company headquartered in Massachusetts to pledge, through the Biogen Foundation, $10 million to COVD-19 relief. The Biogen Foundation is supporting more than 67 non-profit organizations in 31 countries to provide access to food and other basic needs, expand testing outside of the hospital setting and ease the burden on healthcare systems. In Massachusetts alone, the Biogen Foundation is currently supporting 20 non-profit organizations with almost $5 million in grants.

We are proud of our colleagues who are actively helping in the community by volunteering and making their own contributions. Our communities will continue to need support, and we remain dedicated to these relief efforts. That’s why we have evolved our 2020 giving efforts to continue to support broad humanitarian needs of vulnerable populations, to help alleviate the stress of caregivers at home and in healthcare settings and provide a holistic approach to learning for young people, including virtual capabilities. To learn more about our COVID-19 response efforts in the community please visit our Foundation Support for Global COVID-19 Relief.