In the current situation, e-commerce plays a key role in stabilizing the European economy. Local shops had to remain closed for weeks and are now only allowed to open under strict conditions. With our extensive network of warehouses and partner services connecting physical stores to our digital platform, Zalando contributes to supporting Europe’s economy and supply chain stability.
We remain committed to delivering on our customer promises and will stay open for business under strict government guidelines in these unprecedented times. At the same time, it is of utmost importance to us to ensure our employee’s health and safety. We are closely monitoring the developments and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) as well as national and local authorities. Across all of our locations, strict preventative measures that preceded, follow and even extend government guidelines and recommendations have been implemented. We are doing everything in our ability to safeguard the health of our employees.
Safety Measures Across the Entire Zalando Group
We have adapted our business activities and processes in ways that enable as many employees as possible to work from home. Due to the nature of our business, the option of remote work does not exist for all of our employees. In our logistics centers, production studios and some parts of our offices, employees still come to work every day. To ensure a safe working environment for all of them, employees in high risk groups have been put on paid leave for now, additional daily cleanings are performed at all locations, and workplaces and surfaces are disinfected between all breaks and shifts. Disinfectant dispensers have been installed on all floors to be used by employees frequently.
Across all locations, business travel and trainings have been canceled, external visitors on our premises are kept to the unavoidable minimum. We hold as few meetings as possible and keep the groups of people small. Canteens have been closed or serve only pre-packaged food to a limited number of employees at a time.
Playbooks prepared well ahead by our Zalando Coronavirus Taskforce ensure proper handling of confirmed coronavirus cases. When a confirmed case is reported to our coronavirus hotline, we act in close coordination with the health authorities. All people who had close contact with the respective employee are immediately instructed to self-quarantine at home. Affected working areas are reopened only after extensive cleaning.
Additional Measures at Zalando Logistics Sites
Thermal cameras are taking every employee’s body temperature before entering our warehouses. Anyone with a higher body temperature is sent home on sick leave immediately with a concrete recommendation for action. Protective face masks are mandatory in all logistics centres and are distributed as part of personal work clothing. Work stations have been repositioned to ensure at least 1.5 meters distance. Markers on the ground and additional security personnel remind every employee of these distancing rules.
The amount of people who can take a break at the same time has been limited to avoid crowded relaxation areas. Seats in those areas have been rearranged with more distance between them. We encourage our employees to change into their work wear at home to avoid using the shared changing rooms on our premises. The air exchange through our ventilation systems has been increased to further improve air quality in the entire facility.
We have further increased the number of buses to and from our logistics centres in cooperation with public transport companies and other providers, making it easier for employees to comply with the distance regulations. In order to communicate proactively and transparently, we use posters, campaigns, screens and our internal employee magazine to enable and motivate all of our employees to apply individual protective measures like frequent hand washing and social distancing. To facilitate hand washing during work, we have provided additional mobile hand wash basins in addition to our existing washing facilities.
Additional Measures at Zalando Studios
Every product that enters our Fashion Store has to be photographed. In the Zalando Studios, next to mannequins, we work with models, hair and makeup artists, stylists and our own production teams. To adhere to the strict safety rules on site, besides other measures, we have separated working areas and extended the distance between sets. Additionally, rotations between sets have been cancelled, meaning one dedicated team is working at one set.
Face masks are provided to all employees and are mandatory for those employees who voluntarily work together with models, hair- and make-up artists. The minimum distance between people is maintained at all times and cleaning and hygiene measures have been reinforced on site.