Arup responds to COVID-19

Alan Belfield Alan Belfield Chairman,London
30 March 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the world, we want to re-affirm our commitment to the safety and well-being of our people, and to the uninterrupted delivery of exceptional work to our clients.

We have been monitoring the situation closely since the start of the outbreak and are implementing measures to minimise disruption to the work we do for clients, and to ensure our collective safety and wellbeing. We want to play an active and valuable role as our clients and collaborators respond and recover from this global pandemic.

Here are a few of the steps we are taking in response:

  • Home-working: First and foremost, we have prioritised the safety and well-being of our staff and have directed most of our global membership to work from home until global health experts advise us that it is safe to return to our offices. We have been closely monitoring the progress of our projects and are happy to report that work continues unabated, with deadlines and deliverables being met on a daily basis. Our teams have shown tremendous resilience and our clients are approaching our partnerships with agility and a spirit of collaboration.

  • Digital infrastructure: To ensure that our people can deliver exceptional quality work without interruption, we have deployed extensive digital infrastructure. This has scaled up our ability to work remotely while new project management procedures ensure our teams are closely connected and coordinated while working at home. As a global firm, we collaborate across many time zones, spanning continents and oceans on a daily basis, and are accustomed to working in highly distributed teams.

  • Business travel: For the safety of our members and our communities, we have suspended all business-related travel. The exceptions to this are required site visits, which are subject to enhanced scrutiny and security measures, and completed in compliance with public health directives and in a manner that protects the health and safety of our staff.

  • Social distancing: Where we do have staff in offices or at client sites, we are minimising face-to-face meetings and limiting participation to no more than 10 individuals (or per local guidance), encouraging social distancing, and using our video conferencing and other digital collaboration tools wherever possible.

  • Events: While we will continue to share our knowledge and convene discussions with leading experts, we have postponed or moved all client, community and company events to digital channels.

Engineers, designers and consultants of all kinds have a valuable role to play in this crisis. We have teams around the world working on the rapid adaptation of existing spaces for medical use. Our Healthcare teams are working on modular designs for intensive care beds and investigating the conversion of industrial oxygen for clinical use. This is a moment to be brave, try new ideas and work closely with others to develop services and facilities our communities need.

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This is a rapidly changing situation. We will remain vigilant and adapt our responses as necessary to protect the health and well being of our staff and to support our clients and collaborators around the world. We stand ready to assist you today and in the future.