Vanguard, the Malvern-based mutual fund giant, on Wednesday said it has advised all employees who can to work from home.
Vanguard issued a statement saying “In an effort to improve our ‘social distancing’ and preserve critical buildings for those who need them the most, we have asked all crew who have the ability to work from home to do so,” according to Dana Grosser, spokesperson for Vanguard.
It’s unclear how many of the 14,000-plus-person workforce took Vanguard up on the offer.
“For workers who continue to come to a Vanguard office due to business-critical roles, Vanguard has implemented several precautionary measures within our facilities to safeguard the health and well-being of our crew. We continue to work with our third-party custodial providers to increase the frequency and magnitude of deep cleaning in our various locations,” she said.
Vanguard’s on-site catering provider has shifted to a take-out only and suspended all self-serve stations to limit exposure.. Additionally, hand sanitizer dispensers are available throughout all Vanguard locations.
Vanguard last week briefly closed one of the main buildings on its Malvern corporate campus to disinfect and clean, after an employee was sent home with flu-like symptoms.
On March 11, “we learned that one member in Malvern had fallen ill” and was displaying flu-like symptoms, said Grosser last week.
The Vanguard employee “was seen at a local hospital, but was not recommended for further testing by medical staff.” The employee was later sent home and asked to self-quarantine at home for 14 days, as a precaution," she added.
In order to protect the rest of the workforce and business partners, Vanguard closed that employee’s building -- the Orion building -- for one day “so a deep cleaning could be conducted. Vanguard also implemented additional cleaning and disinfection protocols in the two adjacent buildings, as well, out of an abundance of caution. We are working closely with local and national health officials to ensure that we are following the highest levels of protocols” for health and safety.
“We were taking a very conservative posture,” Grosser said. The employee’s doctor didn’t recommend a COVID-19 test, but Vanguard closed and cleaned the entire building.
“Regarding work from home, at this time, we are not instituting new work-from-home arrangements” for employees. Some people have current flexible work arrangements, separate from COVID-19. “We continue to monitor this dynamic situation and may evaluate our plans as changes and developments occur.”