Taking care of our people
In early March, we swiftly restricted travel and established return protocols for both client-related and personal travel. In a matter of just ten days, we successfully transitioned more than 85% of our employees to a remote working environment to support physical distancing. Where the essential and mission-critical nature of our work requires us to maintain staff at certain sites or locations, we worked closely with our clients and established project-specific plans to ensure the safety of our people and the integrity of the operation. Using technology and optimizing our networks, we continue to offer flexible work scenarios for our people, deliver business continuity and continued collaboration with our clients.
Our Executive Leadership Team met daily for three months and weekly thereafter, focusing on transparency, agile response and business resiliency; and our global and regional crisis management teams came together to maintain consistent messaging and direct local responses. With regular global CEO Town Halls, a weekly email and short, self-produced leadership videos we shared open, transparent information and good news stories to connect and unite our global community. Through employee pulse surveys, teams shared sentiments about the transition to home-working, dealing with uncertainty and the future.
With new TogetherBeyond COVID-19 support resources, we’re getting to know colleagues in authentic ways and staying in touch even while physically distant. In parallel, our focus on positive mental health has only increased. We equipped our almost 2,000 Positive Mental Health Champions with materials to assist employees with COVID-19- related mental health concerns, including a Mental Health Matters Resiliency program, featuring videos and live webinars on topics like relaxation and coping mechanisms, healthy eating and physical wellbeing.
As we look to the future, we’ve established a 6-Step Return to the Workplace Process to safely re-introduce people into our workplaces. This examines environmental factors within and surrounding our workplaces — like government restrictions, the local rate of new cases and office readiness, as well as employee availability and desire to return to the workplace.
Supporting our clients
What we do impacts people, communities and the world — and never more so than now in the wake of COVID-19. From tapping into digitalization capabilities from both sides of our business to help facilitate safe return to on-premise work environments, to establishing a new global healthcare growth market, maintaining our own resiliency throughout the crisis meant learning together and turning the circumstances into an innovation catalyst, sharing solutions and new approaches with our clients.
Working in partnership with our clients, we supported creation of mobile hospital units in hot zones; healthcare operations planning in the U.S., U.K., Australia and New Zealand; retrofit and concept design for COVID-19 vaccine and therapy manufacturing facilities; engineering support to increase production of ventilators; and cybersecurity support in response to increased threats during the pandemic and our customers’ transitions to at-home work environments.
Taking care of our global communities and humanity
Extending our Culture of Caring into our communities, we pledged $1 million to help global organizations in the fight against COVID-19, including an employee matching program. Recognizing the importance of clean, safe water during the pandemic, we also launched a 200% employee matching campaign for Water For People through the Collectively℠ program. Our global field teams donated surplus masks, gloves and other supplies to local hospitals. And, from volunteering to assemble to-go lunches for the less fortunate and organizing local responses to aid those most vulnerable, to donating computer cables to keep students and teachers connected, our Jacobs family continues to do our part to give back to the places we live, work and play.
Challenging today. Reinventing tomorrow.
As we looked for bright spots during the year, we found several. We are spending more time with our families and calling to check on friends, colleagues and neighbors more often. We accelerated a behavior change to travel less, resulting in carbon emission reductions from our business travel. We’re learning how to work more seamlessly, using technology to connect virtually. And we can have fun doing it — with virtual planning sessions, new coworkers (both our pets and our families) and even virtual coffee breaks, workouts and recipe sharing.
Looking toward to the future of work, we’re embracing these bright spots and rethinking how we will work differently — honing our capabilities to better help our clients adjust, innovate and implement.
This pandemic affects us all. Never more so than today do our core values provide the clear framework for our decision-making at Jacobs: We do things right. We challenge the accepted. We aim higher. We live inclusion.
At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, teams aided in the COVID-19 response, including developing a heat-based sanitization process to re-use masks multiple times.
Jacobs joined an international alliance of architects, engineers, doctors, military experts and NGOs to convert shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Unit Pods for the COVID-19 pandemic. The first fully operational pod has been deployed to a field hospital in Turin, Italy. Image courtesy of CURA.