Ignacio Del; General Manager, World Trade Center Montevideo

Our WTC complex has six buildings comprised of 200,000 square meters and more than 400 companies that employ over 9,000 people. Although the Uruguayan government did not enforce a lockdown when the pandemic first came in early March, they issued a “Stay at Home” order. Given this situation, we knew that we would need a new way of conducting business and would have to rely heavily on technology to maintain close contact with our team, clients, and community.

We identified three pillars to focus on during the pandemic:
  • Health: preserve and ensure the health and safety of our workspaces
  • Community: continue to build the community that works in our complex
  • Business: strengthen ties with the companies that operate here by providing solutions and advice, and promoting networking under new means
The health pillar was based on the regulations established by the Ministry of Public Health and the interdisciplinary WTC protocol, prepared by our team of professionals and occupational doctor, to effectively and efficiently manage the health emergency. Preventive measures listed in the protocol include using masks and practicing frequent hand washing, maintaining social distancing, limiting the number of people per elevator trip, and cleaning all areas with highly disinfecting products, among others. Further, we created a campaign called “If you take care of yourself, you take care of others” (Si vos te cuidas, nos cuidamos todos) to promote these measures and implemented it on WTC Montevideo's platforms such as mailings, promotional videos, signposts, and webinars.

To serve our community, we continued developing our service platform, providing advice and valuable content for members to collaborate on and learn from. Our training programs were delivered through an online platform called We Lead, granting up to 50% off all course fees. All proceeds collected from the training programs went to our corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaign called “the Coronavirus Fund” to help the lower income community during the pandemic. We have also been promoting a series of online webinars called “Free Zone Talks,” featuring renowned speakers discussing topics such as finance, HR, social issues, health, and international affairs. Our Free Zone Talks are taking place through the second quarter of 2020 and are available on our Spotify (TM) Podcast account and Youtube (TM) channel.

Lastly, from the business pillar, we have worked closely with our clients, holding online conferences via Zoom (TM) to identify and understand their current needs, how their operations are performing during this pandemic, and how their teams are establishing protocols to facilitate their return to their offices. We have also been using Asana (TM) internally with our team for the past five years and continue to use it to collaborate. Although COVID-19 has modified our daily lives, technology has enabled us to work together to overcome these challenges and look to the future.

Photo caption: WTC Montevideo recently held a “Free Zone Talk” featuring Dr. Andrés Álvarez Moccia to discuss how anxiety has caused poor sleep during this pandemic.

Photo credit: WTC Montevideo