- Verizon has a large, seven-building campus in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.
- The space can accommodate a total of 6,000 employees.
- Business Insider swung by One Verizon Way and took a tour of its facilities.
Verizon’s corporate headquarters may be based in New York City, but the telecom giant has another big presence about 30 miles to the west.
Verizon’s recently-renovated operational headquarters are located in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The office complex, known as One Verizon Way, can accommodate 6,000 employees.
Verizon moved into the space in 2005. The most recent round of renovations began in 2016 and wrapped up in 2017.
Business Insider visited the space and took a tour with Verizon’s Executive Director of Global Real Estate Joe Rossi.
Here’s a look inside Verizon’s Basking Ridge campus:
Verizon’s operational headquarters takes up 138 acres and consists of seven interconnected buildings. The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge surrounds the campus, which means that employees often spot turtle and bird eggs around the site.
Verizon set up shop in its Basking Ridge compound in 2005. Previously, AT&T and Pfizer occupied the space.
The office complex is known as One Verizon Way, but that’s not all there is to the space.
The campus now also features a hotel called The Ridge, which doubles as a learning center for Verizon employees. The Ridge boasts 170 rooms and is exclusive to Verizon employees and their partners — it’s not open to the general public.
The hotel features conference space, a library, and a fitness center, as well as a bar and restaurant.
The Basking Ridge campus recently overhauled its lobby, café, and 18 floors of office space. A new parking garage was also constructed.
Employees who drive electric cars can now take advantage of Verizon’s electric charging stations.
What’s more, the campus exclusively uses electric cars to drive guests back and forth to The Ridge.
Campus didn’t just shut down while all that was being done, however. Most of the renovation was completed in 12 months.
During that time, employees temporarily went to work in “swingspaces” around campus, only to transfer to their new workspaces once construction was completed.
During the renovation, Verizon added a total of 4,300 seats to its workspace. Some of its new workspaces are communal. The goal of the redesigned space is to facilitate all kinds of workspaces preferences.
One Verizon Way also features amenities like nursing rooms, a podcast studio, a law library, and on-site dry cleaning and tailor services. In the warmer months, the campus also puts on “Summer Lunch Jams” — shows where employees showcase their musical abilities onstage.
Within One Verizon Way, open floor plans are now the name of the game.
Employees can choose how they want to work, picking between desks and communal sit-stand desks, tables, and focus rooms.
Meanwhile, the office’s two executive floors feature offices without doors, in order to evoke a sense of openness and transparency.
At One Verizon Way’s cafeteria, breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and lunch is available from 11 a.m. to noon.
Employees can also hit up the campus Starbucks from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The site’s food options now include a sushi bar, a made-to-order salad station, and a food truck.
The café’s indoor taco truck is modeled off of an actual Verizon truck.
Employees can grab a taco to go and then take a seat at a nearby picnic table and catch a flick on the café’s drive-in style screen.
One Verizon Way also boasts a formidable fitness center, to help employees work off some of those calories. For athletes who want to get outside, there’s a mile-long track around the campus.
The on-site gym features fitness classes, yoga, pilates, and even massage therapy sessions.
Verizon employees can also stay in shape by joining the office’s soccer or marathon clubs.
Employees interested in a more eco-friendly way of travelling can also participate in the fitness center’s rent-a-bike program.
But, according to Rossi, the numerous amenities available on campus are merely a reflection of its open culture.
“While how we design the workplace and what we put into it is important, it’s not about the place,” Rossi said. “It’s about the people and what comes out of it. The best ideas come from people who work together.”
Sarah Jacobs contributed to a previous version of this story.
Public officers above 58 years and with pre-existing conditions told to work from home: The Standard
Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua. [File, Standard]
In a document from Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua new measure have been outlined to curb the bulging spread of covid-19. Public officers with underlying health conditions and those who are over 58 years -a group that experts have classified as most vulnerable to the virus will be required to execute their duties from home.
However, the new rule excluded personnel in the security sector and other critical and essential services.
“All State and public officers with pre-existing medical conditions and/or aged 58 years and above serving in CSG5 (job group ‘S’) and below or their equivalents should forthwith work from home,” read the document,” read the document.
To ensure that those working from home deliver, the Public Service directs that there be clear assignments and targets tasked for the period designated and a clear reporting line to monitor and review work done.
SEE ALSO: Thinking inside the cardboard box for post-lockdown work stations
Others measures outlined in the document include the provision of personal protective equipment to staff, provision of sanitizers and access to washing facilities fitted with soap and water, temperature checks for all staff and clients entering public offices regular fumigation of office premises and vehicles and minimizing of visitors except by prior appointments.
Officers who contract the virus and come back to work after quarantine or isolation period will be required to follow specific directives such as obtaining clearance from the isolation facility certified by the designated persons indicating that the public officer is free and safe from Covid-19. The officer will also be required to stay away from duty station for a period of seven days after the date of medical certification.
“The period a public officer spends in quarantine or isolation due to Covid-19, shall be treated as sick leave and shall be subject to the Provisions of the Human Resource Policy and procedures Manual for the Public Service(May,2016),” read the document.
The service has also made discrimination and stigmatization an offence and has guaranteed those affected with the virus to receive adequate access to mental health and psychosocial supported offered by the government.
The new directives targeting the Public Services come at a time when Kenyans have increasingly shown lack of strict observance of the issued guidelines even as the number of positive Covid-19 cases skyrocket to 13,771 and leaving 238 dead as of today.
SEE ALSO: Working from home could be blessing in disguise for persons with disabilities
Principal Secretaries/ Accounting Officers will be personally responsible for effective enforcement and compliance of the current guidelines and any future directives issued to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Uhuru convenes summit to review rising Covid-19 cases: The Standard
President Uhuru Kenyatta (pictured) will on Friday, July 24, meet governors following the ballooning Covid-19 infections in recent days.
The session will among other things review the efficacy of the containment measures in place and review the impact of the phased easing of the restrictions, State House said in a statement.
This story is being updated.
SEE ALSO: Sakaja resigns from Covid-19 Senate committee, in court tomorrow
Drastic life changes affecting mental health
Kenya has been ranked 6th among African countries with the highest cases of depression, this has triggered anxiety by the World Health Organization (WHO), with 1.9 million people suffering from a form of mental conditions such as depression, substance abuse.
Globally, one in four people is affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives, this is according to the WHO.
Currently, around 450 million people suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.
The pandemic has also been known to cause significant distress, mostly affecting the state of one’s mental well-being.
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With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic attributed to the novel Coronavirus disease, millions have been affected globally with over 14 million infections and half a million deaths as to date. This has brought about uncertainty coupled with difficult situations, including job loss and the risk of contracting the deadly virus.
In Kenya the first Coronavirus case was reported in Nairobi by the Ministry of Health on the 12th March 2020. It was not until the government put in place precautionary measures including a curfew and lockdown (the latter having being lifted) due to an increase in the number of infections that people began feeling its effect both economically and socially.
A study by Dr. Habil Otanga, a Lecturer at the University of Nairobi, Department of Psychology says that such measures can in turn lead to surge in mental related illnesses including depression, feelings of confusion, anger and fear, and even substance abuse. It also brings with it a sense of boredom, loneliness, anger, isolation and frustration. In the post-quarantine/isolation period, loss of employment due to the depressed economy and the stigma around the disease are also likely to lead to mental health problems.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) states that at least 300,000 Kenyans have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus pandemic between the period of January and March this year.
KNBC noted that the number of employed Kenyans plunged to 17.8 million as of March from 18.1 million people as compared to last year in December. The Report states that the unemployment rate in Kenya stands at 13.7 per cent as of March this year while it stood 12.4 per cent in December 2019.
Mama T (not her real name) is among millions of Kenyans who have been affected by containment measures put in place to curb the spread of the virus, either by losing their source of income or having to work under tough guidelines put in place by the MOH.
As young mother and an event organizer, she has found it hard to explain to her children why they cannot go to school or socialize freely with their peers as before.
“Sometimes it gets difficult as they do not understand what is happening due to their age, this at times becomes hard on me as they often think I am punishing them,”
Her contract was put on hold as no event or public gatherings can take place due to the pandemic. This has brought other challenges along with it, as she has to find means of fending for her family expenditures that including rent and food.
“I often wake up in the middle of the night with worries about my next move as the pandemic does not exhibit any signs of easing up,” she says. She adds that she has been forced to sort for manual jobs to keep her family afloat.
Ms. Mary Wahome, a Counseling Psychologist and Programs Director at ‘The Reason to Hope,’ in Karen, Nairobi says that such kind of drastic life changes have an adverse effect on one’s mental status including their family members and if not addressed early can lead to depression among other issues.
“We have had cases of people indulging in substance abuse to deal with the uncertainty and stress brought about by the pandemic, this in turn leads to dependence and also domestic abuse,”
Sam Njoroge , a waiter at a local hotel in Kiambu, has found himself indulging in substance abuse due to challenges he is facing after the hotel he was working in was closed down as it has not yet met the standards required by the MOH to open.
“My day starts at 6am where I go to a local pub, here I can get a drink for as little as Sh30, It makes me suppress the frustration I feel.” he says.
Sam is among the many who have found themselves in the same predicament and resulted to substance abuse finding ways to beat strict measures put in place by the government on the sale of alcohol so as to cope.
Mary says, situations like Sam’s are dangerous and if not addressed early can lead to serious complications, including addiction and dependency, violent behavior and also early death due to health complications.
She has, however, lauded the government for encouraging mental wellness and also launching the Psychological First Aid (PFA) guide in the wake of the virus putting emphasis on the three action principal of look, listen and link. “When we follow this it will be easy to identify an individual in distress and also offer assistance”.
Mary has urged anyone feeling the weight of the virus taking a toll on them not to hesitate but look for someone to talk to.
“You should not only seek help from a specialist but also talk to a friend, let them know what you are undergoing and how you feel, this will help ease their emotional stress and also find ways of dealing with the situation they are facing,” She added
Mary continued to stress on the need to perform frequent body exercises as a form of stress relief, reading and also taking advantage of this unfortunate COVID-19 period to engage in hobbies and talent development.
“Let people take this as an opportunity to kip fit, get in touch with one’s inner self and also engage in reading that would help expand their knowledge.