Maintaining a Healthy Work Ecosystem During the Global Health Crisis

An open letter to TechNexus teammates, the leaders of our Portfolio of Venture Investments, and to Collaborators and Guests to our Facilities

With hundreds of people coming to work each day in our facilities, and thousands of employees at work in ventures we have been privileged to invest into around the world, the ecosystem and workplaces surrounding TechNexus are vast and interconnected. The same is likely true for many organizations.

The world health community continues to monitor closely the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, named “coronavirus disease 2019” (COVID-19). At this time, no one knows how severe this outbreak will be. Given this uncertainty, and the fact that the seasonal influenza (flu) virus is also widespread, we are taking proactive steps to address a number of business concerns.

First and foremost, we want to maintain a safe workplace and encourage practices protecting the health of coworkers, customers, visitors and others. We also want to ensure the continuity of business operations in the event of a pandemic. (Once the people of our ecosystem are healthy and safe, there may be other prudent business steps to take to protect the health of our businesses.)

We ask everyone to cooperate in taking steps to reduce the transmission of communicable diseases. The goal is to simply reduce any unnecessary social interaction as the most effective way to limit the potential for widespread contagion.

Guidance to the TechNexus Team

  • Until further notice, if you can work from home, please do so. We have robust collaboration tools, video conference platforms, and workflow. Minimizing the number of people gathering in the office each day reduces the potential for contagion for everyone. Additionally, avoid participating in any large gatherings or events.
  • Don’t panic, just be wise, and take appropriate precautions. Few members of our community are likely vulnerable to serious illness, but until the public health system is ready to handle the possible impact of broader contagion, social distancing is the best tool we have to help protect others and contain the spread.
  • We will work with any employees requiring paid leave if you are sick or caring for someone sick, or to help address any other health, wellness or financial concerns you may have as a consequence. Our entire staff will be available to assist and fill whatever roles or responsibilities need to be shared to maintain essential operations.
  • Non-essential travel, and event participation of any large gathering of people, should be suspended until the outbreak is managed.
  • Small, in-person meetings are still encouraged. Working from the office may still be needed or beneficial from time to time, and the decision to do so is supported. We just ask that this be minimized to critical use.

Guidance to Everyone in Our Community

  • This coronavirus, specifically, seems to be contagious even before a person is symptomatic. The most common symptoms that do manifest seem to be a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, headaches and body aches.
  • Stay home when you are sick, or if you have been exposed to someone that is symptomatic, or if you have someone in your home that may be particularly vulnerable (elderly, people with compromised immune systems). Please communicate with your manager if any of this becomes true, or if you have any other questions or concerns.
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Minimize contact with your face. Cover your mouth with tissues whenever you sneeze, and discard used tissues in the trash.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces, and avoid unnecessary contact with handrails, door knobs, or similar items (this virus can persist on hard surfaces for several hours, and frequently sanitizing with a >60% alcohol-based solution is required).

Guidance to TechNexus Facility Guests and Event Planners

  • TechNexus has provided alcohol-based cleaners throughout our facilities and in common areas. We have increased frequency of cleaning, we are sanitizing common areas more often, and we will be reducing/eliminating most food and beverage service areas until further notice.
  • It is incumbent on event organizers and people with responsibility at every level to help minimize the near-term risk of rapid spread of illness. It is NOT SUFFICIENT to defer to others to decide their own personal risk of exposure; it is everyone’s collective responsibility to contain the early, rapid spread of disease.
  • For guests and event planners utilizing TechNexus facilities, please consider postponing or limiting onsite meetings within the next 30 days. At this time, we will continue to work with hosts and organizers that decide to proceed with their events at our facilities despite the warning, but that policy is subject to change.
  • If you do proceed, please help share the importance of basic steps to minimize unnecessary contagion, and be patient with any inconveniences as a result.

Guidance to Founders in the TechNexus Venture Portfolio & Collaborators

  • The TechNexus venture portfolio spans dozens of cities around the globe; everyone is interconnected and has a role to play, especially as leaders in your own communities.
  • We encourage you to consider similar policies and procedures to that which we have shared above for the TechNexus Team.
  • We encourage you to be extra sensitive to hourly employees who might miss income, and to employees whose job description isn’t conducive to remote work.
  • We encourage you to use this process to become more collaborative, agile and flexible in how your companies and teams work together.
  • We encourage you to limit any nonessential business travel, pay attention to the guidance of local leaders, and speak up within your business community.
  • The impact of this potential pandemic, combined with broader events and conditions, could cause more than a short-term impact on the economy. TechNexus has separately shared some thoughts on managing your business through a downturn.

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