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Re-thinking How We Work During a Pandemic


Amid the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, Goldman Sachs’ global medical director Dr. Michael Rendel joins by phone to talk about what employees can do to stay healthy and productive while working remotely – from setting up comfortable work stations to taking time for meditation and exercise. Dr. Rendel also talks about the importance of managers supporting their teams’ physical and psychological well-being, as well as the firm’s strategy more broadly in terms of coordinating global offices. 

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This exchanges of Goldman Sachs when we discuss developments currently shaping markets industries in the global economy? I'm Jake Seaward Global, had of corporate communications here at the front, today will be talking to Doktor Michael Window. Goldman Sachs is very on global medical director about how a firm like ours responds to the corona virus pandemic. And what we all can be doing on the individual level, including tips for staying in good shape mentally physically, as, moreover, start working from home Catherine, don't walk into the programme. They travel me happier that window before we get to your role, specifically common and how you prepare the firm for health crisis like desolate Let's talk a little bit about someone was common questions were getting from our clients and others about the so the pandemic and the specific chow is unique challenges. It raises for health care, professional,
everyone really whose dealing with its consequences. So how you described the state of of testing on it's different region by region, via maybe start with the? U S wise, had been so hard to get people tested and why the protocols, marriage or widely region, a region I will start with the: U S, unfortunately, in the EU, as the testing has hit, the CDC were on developing the manufacturing ended up being faulty solely at the sort of scrap all these kids. They add and then start all over again, to that we got behind and having enough testing gets that we anticipated we would need if, when the corona virus reach the EU we ve been wearing that up and I think you also, that has been allowing commercial labs, like I still lack or, for instance, to start creating these tests gives me able to perform the tasks, because you know
we are used to using commercial labs and they have a huge capability of doing many many many tests. At the same time, they have good quality control so that we really tired, and so what we're gonna see over the next few weeks is much greater access to test part of the issue. Ironically, isn't it won't want so much be the lab being able to run the task, but figure the right way forward for doctors and other health care providers to it to obtain the swab. So you can submit the task we dont want. Lattice took people with co, nineteen coming into emergency rooms or doctors offices where they're going to spread the infection to other people, particularly, people might have healthcare condition. Al conditions now on I'll make it more data for them to get infected so hostile systems and practices. going out now what is a safe way for people to get tested? national areas, they ve done it and parking lots, and once that gets Randall
there's more access to gas. Dame would have a better idea about what this disease is right now, because her so few kids, we are tasks. People mostly you out more serious disease, whether in the hospital or more seriously. at home by being able to open up that testing, while a better idea about milder disease and how our problem that is, two more serious, if even really get about Santa AL trends. All this is an again also about how furious, in an even Mortality rate will be easier to understand what they truly are by doing more widespread testing, that's in the EU, the same, is really hold true for a lot of these other countries there so don't have enough testing get. Some of them are very strict criteria for testing. So let's get him amply nobility, globally, to really understand the spectrum. As we say in
another another. The people Folkestone rightly, is therapeutics in an what's the likely course of therapeutic sport for coordinating role there is a drug right now is undergoing clinical trials, both in the U S and outside the Eu S clubroom desert here this week, and over all that was developed. I think a few years ago now, of treaty, the ball. I didn't work for you ball out, but it looks promising on an anecdote about wanting in a couple of case report that is effective against this. Wanna buy, restrain forest cover too, as they call it So there are a lot of clinical trials on going for that. It is probably our best how poor treatment there been some others. even so, they tried combinations love through which we wish to defend the treatment and an HIV treatment Those are really anecdotal reports and I'm not really sure whether or not there is those are moving forward model, more white rotation
and, of course, vaccines, odyssey them the vaccine. Will we be late for the outbreak by IRAN, but what's the point back to having a vaccine in place that would take care of this in future years such purchasing a vaccine will take a year to eighteen months to develop in the way for that is a vaccine trials and order they need to be safe and effective. So they want is understanding what a safe dose and whether that doesnt they develop saving and people at. The second is: what is the effect of those they everything not exactly the efficacy and then the third is more scale clinical trial, what life for people to see exactly how people mountains, in a body and whether or not they think I'm gonna get fucked up. That just takes time and you have to get enough volunteers, and so our really if only reasonable, expected to be twelve eighteen months before we get it actually all right in. Finally,
did we see house in ITALY of some just to the healthcare system getting overloaded. You talked earlier about why social business sing a song potent the healthcare system as a whole, but by haven't the stadium. the healthcare system. I guess you're in the: U S: entrance of hospital beds, the machinery the need to treat this, and also just the ability of healthcare professionals to function in this involves the meme, no healthcare system is going to have enough beds to treat as many people as might be predicted in any any large pent up this one or any other one. Ultimately, if there are enough sick people at the welfare system will get overwhelmed built for a pandemic, and so we really be careful about our resources. You no part of the mortality of a pandemic, isn't just people who die of the infection, but also people, don't get access to cure for other reasons, because welfare systems overwhelm tonight the things that we need to do more about a pretty
Seen our irish patients organ ever more debt, full time and are more serious disease, make they don't get infected through that they don't need the kind of intensive treatment in a hostile healthcare setting that will take us from other people be treated the same time. My enemies I can is making sure that again, We have the right to have in place there. he bore using the right protective equipment. Many people use gowned. A mass of there is very standard. A quite you were respiratory droplet infection, airborne dropped infection, and so how efficient already for lead on a routine basis by their we preparing our ongoing up for an overwhelming number of cases, and so we just have to do our best to be patient and make sure that we are not overwhelming our healthcare system with other things. I don't that we can put off, return to make sure that they can focus on the needs of people
were seriously ill, so Obviously this is a moment that no one wants experience, but that you and your team have been preparing for a long time So how does a global firm prepare for a crisis like this every form as a business? Continuity theme worthy, spend time, preparing planting testing and peace or we would like, but we would, if you and I'm peacetime, we're looking at not just in our capabilities from technology standpoint abroad, people standpoint, but job. On the medical side, from a medical standpoint, how we prepare that we look at things like do we want to do that. Participation for the most part been really do that. Nobody really does that, because we will then be the business of providing, procurator employees, but we look at other things like what kinds of other strategies that we will put into place. The help mitigate any kind of outbreaks
The curve we want to understand our healthcare providers, who were on site and some other locations. How are they to deal with something that would happen whether it be a respiratory infections. Different kind of infection. Ebola, for example, laid contact infection is not from respiratory. making sure there were dealt with are well protected it. They would know how to deal with this kind of event in the workplace. Are we gonna provide the right treatment and the right information to people that sort of what we do in the medical side as part of a larger business got nobody game when they plan for, and events such as this Creasy Arthur, like like many others, is encouraging. Many employees work remotely. In fact, today here from the problem, more people working from home by a long shot, the dinner in the building. So what's the generals? prodigy behind limiting people in the building for with required was infection. The key to suppressing infection is really around social, dysentery, and so, if we
they believe in fighting and China and other places that social distancing has really made a huge difference. By limiting contact between people we limit. number infections that can happen and that can really the big difference in the long run. If we look at the sort of Arc of a pandemic or art of an outbreak when it when the infection it was very, very high number. Not only is it bad because lots of people get infected, we end up with what I was conditions who do poorly get infected and then the healthcare system, if overrun, and so that the key is to push down that arc and make much lower so that there are fewer infections during the course of an outbreak so that health care can be delivered effectively and that we protect per se many people were high risk at an end. Colonna viruses people over sixty people with the political problems, pregnant women, people remain a suppressed. We will make sure that those people are protected and specifically because they
ever more adverse outcome compared to say young people, that's different from viruses. Sometimes young people more in fact are children were infected. That is not the case with cold honesty. I should C4 listeners that I'm in one room and you're in another, so are you your home, and I am here in a room by myself, so we're we're doing some social distancing other than limiting the number of people that are actually together in a building? What what other preventative measures is a firm like ours taking? Why do you want? that's really important is the message we get people and sometimes we have give it over and over again, because you wanted to really be impact and the most import, thing is the waiting yourself when you said we were really want to emphasise strongly that, in order to help not ass, if from person to person, it yourself you to say all you need to solve isolate so that you know during your
a period when you're infectious you're, not really passing infections, others. That also means monitor your health, be really mindful of your own symptoms with carbon. until the most common and are even coffin, shortness of you're, dead, hope. You know. Symptoms want to make sure you're careful tat, speak your doctor and stay if other people who are ill and if your l stay away from others too, that you don't have any infection along the other things we talk about this. I'm a little but simple, buy it from time to time for people to do it, washing your hands, frequently, don't touch me: your face, you know making sure you at least three feet from each other of between three and sixty Those respiratory droplets travel around succeed in the We stagger our station leave when people are coming out of the office, we make sure that there are more separated them when we normally would hands
the danger which is hard to get these days using hand sanitizing. Would you have access to wash your hands who felt water? Those are the kinds of things we're doing even four people were coming then, but are there in enough? the building or outside the building, support That's the one question that we ve got quite often in our offices, as we ve had some. cases of common nineteen is partially about the safety of our work space, we use this phrase and see this praise. cleaning all the time. What's effective in that that space ensuring that it's safer, other people to come to work after with identified a case, We know that corona viruses such as the one that the cause of covert nineteen survival on services for a period of time and the most recent data J, W Asia, the World Health Organization will say that we think the Corona Leirus Latin anywhere from a few hours to several days, so that we know.
we don't know exactly. How much that contributes to transmission of other by written instructions to other people, but we were, he cautious and every public health, a relation advocated cleaning toward the things that we ve done. They they understand better what killed grown a virus, and so there are certain eyes and recriminations that don't work. So we switched over to await the recommended. Recommendations are run cleaning and that mostly, is apple. Alcohol products are bleach containing products which we know are effective and killing the Byron and
under normal circumstances, we ve asked our cleaning in terms of using these products, are being more vigorous about cleaning more services are performing the cleaning more time to day and really paying attention to what we call the common touch points, meaning you elevator buttons door handle pantry areas so that where people are frequently touching were making sure we're trying to clean, especially as we can a case- and we ll see this everywhere- it's not just the Goldman Sachs. If there is a case,
interaction in the workplace. We know that perhaps in that area, where the person was and may be sort of on the floor where they might have been, there could be some viruses were there remained behind and that's what we call a deep cleaning and where they really spent an extra amount of time really clean all the services either in that were space in that area on the floor, and we do that and the evening after we identify a case to make sure they were really trying to eliminate the virus services as much as began the eyes responsive, this year's managers. You manage our health centres around the world, and managers be helpful in creating a more comfortable, inflexible environment. As as we as we work through this we're all in this together, and so the important thing is that we really support each other and I think, of a manager. We always of Useter employs concerns, but I think, especially at this time, we wanna be extirpation. Wanna be checking them with our people. We want to understand if they haven't anxieties will understand. I understand it there haven't. You
we'll be in productive, we're getting through their work, how we can make things easier for them. I think that's a very important issue I think that it will keep us as a team, very productive, and so I think, bad, also he sure as a manager. These precautions were talking about. The people are watching, ran using advantage either be a whim. was in some of these countries. Messages are really important and, of course the use of bio technology and doing thorn virtual meetings and be grave, to use virtual meetings at their available, because you can ask him face to face contact and himself your contact, even if you can't be in Rome at the same time, so as for a lot of them, plays the there the The vast majority of our employees are healthy today, but, but it's still trying times are emotionally and psychologically wrote. Resources does from my Gorman or or more broadly offer for employees in that state
I think, most form what we call on you P programme, which is important ploy assistance programme that offer, short term counselling, and we do it a golden facts on flight in person to person. We also would also person to person, and finally, we do it Telefonica early and so dream again, a virtual appointment with a councillor whether it be tat Finally, in our case sometime similar forms you did, your visit is really important We were just to someone express your anxiety, express your concern, get some short term support. I think that that It is really important to make sure that people are aware of that and they can get the support they need. We also have an online portal called equilibrium, which is
resilience programme that we have with that we offer people know online. They can do in a saucepan, they can understand whether specific stressors are, and then they have online programs out managed through that there's a meditation, I think part of of equilibrium. People can actually just download meditation actual their phone. I think meditation is a wonderful thing rise to be doing a lot about. go to the gym anymore either. A lot of our physical activities are limited during this period, because of government related distance enclosing a lot of social activities, putting it now. on your phone her to meditate in spending some time meditate. I really would help it. You centred and both two things I think are important. We we ve tried in Asia. Do a few things in programmes. We are some red materials arc. What website compliance with them? Meditation classes are virtually. I mean those are the of things. The keeper focused and calm ethical camp keeping com is really important and in this environment
so. The document that you mentioned are locations in Asia. They ve been living with it for Longer that, then we have here in the U S or more in Western Europe, talking open about the status of our operations in Hong Kong, which has been the really in the middle of covert. Nineteen, for too much go. I've been so impressed talking to the Asia teams about how things are going there, because what we are destroying swallow experience now in the? U S, they ve been living. What for six weeks, and I think what I'm finding from speaking to them is after they get They are going to all these different phases, and I expect that we will go through the beginning. Changes to adapt to the new environment that were in, which is social, distance environment. This work from home environment. So the opposite to what were used to weeks, worried by nature social animals. Getting you so that dealing with
closure is which Racine AL happened in the? U dot. I manage my children at home. How do I work at my children, Rome? At the same time, I'm saying all these things are they ve been able to work through really amazing way that people on and in Hong Kong and, more broadly in Asia, section when I, when I speak to them, and I hear whether what they're doing what's really, the thing is, I think go through these phases. Where are the first phase, is where this battened down the hatches and get ready in and for what is to come and then use or get used to which your new reality realise that living working from home and living at home, which is not what you're used to doing some full time, twenty four seven so now, as the epidemics The light was up and Asia. Interestingly, your Hong Kong thing were, and even China, many for fewer cases, and we see in Europe and in the U S, sort of ready and anxious. I think to go back to work to some degree, and so we see why
people wanting to come back into the office, more people getting used to the idea of how do you live in an environment where you are maybe you're not using public transportation, will been mine, odor individual social distance, but the really. This were really anxious, every game coming back into the experience of either the so I think, we'll go through all address like they did and I am sure will do, which is to successfully, by its been very interesting psychological. You see how that evolve over there what we bring up an interesting point, you- and I spent a lot, I'm trying to develop a global message for this firm but ours. it's very hard to have a uniform approach. When The regions have very different experiences to talk a little about the trade off between try to have a consistent approach for all of our firms and one that acknowledges some of the big regional differences right now. You I mean, I think we're It's really interesting that the dead all the different methods of government is putting in place, and we have to react to that in every region. That ran and
travel restrictions, temperature screening, isolation policies, they re, very from place to place an wow. Don't worry, mass baby, commonplace, particularly in China, Hong Kong thereof, Rarely used in the U S and really for discourages as a method of mitigating spread of the virus in in Western Europe and the USA, and to emphasise social distancing is the best thing to do, and so You don T see how me like that, culturally or from a sort of a difference we see between Asia and Europe, Are you out? On the other hand, childcare is something that we are mindful of locally, that everybody has to deal with and how many many many places schools are being closed.
from home environment assorted the same again is that sort of major reducing the ability for people to interact with each other and so in general, although we apply the same principles everywhere, we really be mindful of both cultural difference government differences is play a role and how we can manage from place to place, and even there were one united firm so you mentioned a couple times the challenges of working from home and- and I must being brand new. Do it have plenty of challenges at the gun you teach my children to meditate, but on working from home and is isolating arms, not something people generally familiar with, some advice for those on how to remain calm and productive are when their working from home there would say Couple things one set up your work, this will be a reputation for the next week or so or maybe longer, or maybe last it's hard to say, make sure you have a comparable workstation. We
you haven't, got him ass, an especial chair and a special monitor and on all the things luckily were able to support you and bring to you a Goldman Sachs, but you have to do the best. You can wear your laptop and further desktop. Do you know? the way chair for you make sure you a comfortable environment related is right because having a huge difference, we all know that makes a huge difference now productive. We are to think about what they do for your taking breaks, making sure you're you have time it's quiet for you time you could spend what your kids are. You don't get anxious you're not, but he asked I'm with them or pay enough attention to their knees. Figure out a way to get some exercise. I think it's really really important. Now, where I live now. We have some trails near my ass. I can't go to the Germany more. I can't write my bike because its winter, but I'm are doing a lot of water, and I think that is really important for us to do again, I think
sure you're communicating with others, we we're social animals by nature, as I said before, and make sure your keeping in touch with your friends with your colleagues and making built into every day that you are having on the social interaction. We just need a break from others conference calls that Unite IRAN. On my little there's always a lot of information out there today, in a lot of misinformation and for experts on this topic. How do you yourself make sure that you getting the best information that's available and day after day on the relevant developments two websites, glow one government dazed than Alchemy a great information, for instance the World health Organization centres for the control and that you were the National Health Service and the UK. All those have great website, with a great deal of information at the very useful, data on a regular basis? We understand, but guidance,
beautiful medical information there, so have some experts, both infectious disease exports and global travel experts that give information on a daily basis and make them available to us for questions so as long as this pandemic rapidly evolving and changing. We can keep current. What what's going on well turned out thanks for joining us today, ensuring your wisdom with us happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me. That concludes this episode of exchange the commons actually back later this week with the markets update from Tony past,
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Transcript generated on 2021-07-02.