To best serve each other, our customers and the communities in which we live and operate, we must first take care of ourselves. This means supporting our physical, mental and emotional well-being so we can stay healthy, stay calm, and stay connected. It also means ensuring our physical safety while working in the office and at IBX data centers. To this end, we provide opportunities to help employees along their journey towards achieving optimum health and lifelong wellness, while ensuring workplace safety. Our robust set of benefits help employees and their immediate family members care for their everyday needs and tackle the unique obstacles they may face. We offer a variety of resources internally and externally that offer ways to care for ourselves and our loved ones. We also offer a series of daily breaks, weekly classes and special events that provide time for self-care and learning, enhance overall health and wellness and connect colleagues around the world.
We comply with all local, state and country safety legislation and follow a Global Environment Health and Safety (EHS) Standard Policy that ensures that Equinix conducts all business activities in a responsible manner. This means being free from recognized hazards, respecting the environment and protecting the health and safety of our employees, customers, suppliers, partners and community neighbors. It also means complying with all applicable environmental, health and safety laws and regulations of countries, states, provinces and communities where we operate. We are also committed to continuous improvement in all corporate health and safety operations including within our IBX data centers.
In 2019, we transitioned to ISO 45001—the new international Occupational Health and Safety Management standard —for every EMEA IBX data center. To achieve these standards, companies must demonstrate that they are managing and improving safety. Safety within our IBX data centers is our top priority, as most health and safety risks apply within those sites. In 2020, we continued to roll ISO 45001 out across our global locations. We also reviewed EHS and started globalizing our EHS management system and have expanded our team of EHS professionals globally to support the process.
In response to the unprecedented global pandemic caused by a novel strain of coronavirus, referred to as Coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19, Equinix has implemented a number of precautionary measures in line with our business continuity and pandemic plans to minimize the risk of operational impacts and to protect the health of employees, customers, partners and our communities. Equinix remains committed to supporting our stakeholders’ most urgent needs associated with “work from home” policies, such as providing reliable connectivity to business-critical cloud services, maintaining rapidly expanding video conferencing capabilities, and enabling access to local VPN capacity.
To assist our employees during this time of physical distance, Equinix has made supplementary employee resources available through a dedicated COVID-19 response page on the corporate intranet and through a variety of ongoing communications including a global “All-Hands” virtual company meeting, employee announcements, live and recorded webcasts, and team townhalls.
Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by COVID-19. Equinix maintains our dedication to ensuring that all of our stakeholders feel that they are safe, they belong and they matter.
Health and Safety in Operations at Equinix is managed by our global EHS Compliance Group, responsible for ensuring that our facilities meet or exceed local safety requirements, promote safe work practices and support compliance with applicable health and safety legislation and policies through trainings, communications and audits. In 2020, 33% of our global sites (94% of sites in EMEA) were covered by the ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management standard.
While we manage the appropriate standards for our offices, they are considered lower risk than our IBX data centers in terms of health and safety considerations. Therefore, we prioritize employee wellness for these locations. Our newly implemented global design guidelines incorporate the WELL Building Standard certification elements, such as ergonomics and movement, to facilitate a healthy working environment for our employees.
As part of our efforts to support our global community, Equinix has developed a pandemic support program for some Platform Equinix services and have made them available to qualifying organizations supporting the greater good through this pandemic. In order to alleviate critical IT bottlenecks and to scale interconnection needs, Equinix offered these services to key providers of healthcare, education, government, and other essential services like food supply-chains, COVID-19 research and NGOs. Equinix hopes to enable these organizations to continue their important work supporting the most pressing challenges posed by this pandemic.
We are deeply appreciative of the flexibility and resourcefulness of all our employees during this uncertain time. In recognition of the challenges faced by our employees globally, Equinix extended financial support of US$250 (or local currency equivalent) to each non-IBX employee to establish a sustainable work-from-home set up. In acknowledgement of the tremendous efforts of our IBX employees working in our data centers-who are considered essential workers and have demonstrated commitment and service in providing our customers with mission-critical stability—Equinix extended financial support equaling 5% of their salary with a maximum payout of US$5,000 (or local currency equivalent).
Equinix employees worldwide have demonstrated incredible generosity and overwhelming compassion during this unprecedented pandemic. To empower our employees to contribute to some of the most influential responses to COVID-19, Equinix increased its standard corporate donation match to 2:1 for specified charities and NGOs working to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. This 2:1 COVID-19 match campaign ran from March through May 2020 and raised US$667,000 for organizations working on the frontlines of relief in the global communities where we operate.
To support all Equinix full-time employees and their immediate family members with the unique challenges that they may be facing, free confidential and professional counseling services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week through the global Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Equinix is committed to helping our employees maintain their health and well-being during this time of shared challenge and has compiled resources for employees to manage stress and to engage in exercise while working remotely, including daily and weekly employee-led meditation, walking breaks and yoga classes, and other offerings.
Our employees have demonstrated a deep passion for and commitment to charitable programs and initiatives. As many in-person volunteer opportunities have been unavailable during the global pandemic, Equinix has gathered resources for employees to virtually volunteer and support others from their home. These opportunities have empowered our employees to make meaningful connections and contribute to the charitable programs and initiatives most important to them, despite physical distance.
For more information, please visit our public response to COVID-19 on the Equinix website: https://www.equinix.com/lp/our-response-to-covid-19/
In August of 2020, we launched the Equinix Employee Relief Fund (EERF) to provide assistance to employees needing financial support as a result of a disaster or unforeseen personal hardship. The EERF was initially funded in part by our executive team with additional corporate funds to allow us to respond immediately to those facing personal hardship. Since launch, we’ve opened it up to Equinix employees interested in making a donation that is eligible to be matched as part of our standard donation matching gifts program.
Equinix is committed to ensuring that we continue to offer progressive benefits that meet the changing needs of our employees, that we offer competitive benefits in all countries where we operate, and that no one is left behind. Our benefits program is designed to ensure the long-term success of our employees, our organization and our world.
In 2019, we shifted to a global benefits broker that gives us a platform and opportunity to review benefits at two levels. We can now assess how comparable or consistent our benefit offerings are by country, and review how well the benefits offered represent our diversity, inclusion and belonging values. We work in close collaboration with internal stakeholders in our Well-being team and Equinix Employee Connection Networks (EECNs) to review our benefits and ensure that we are providing equitable benefits supporting our diverse organization.
We also launched MyBenefits in March 2020, a new global brand for employee benefits. This saw us introducing in the UK a new improved Flexible Benefits platform which provides employees with access to all of their pension and benefits in one place. It also delivers a total reward statement that shows the financial value of their overall reward package and enables them to select coverage to fit their individual needs. Everything from critical illness insurance to a gym membership are available to meet the diverse needs of our employees. After an initial rollout in the UK, we are reviewing the roll-out of new benefits technology for other countries to improve the employee experience and further automate administration.
Part of creating a workplace where employees can say “I matter” is providing the opportunity to blend our family and personal lives with our growing careers at Equinix. To enable our employees to be their best selves at work, we provide resources for a meaningful and fulfilling personal life.
We recognize that having time to adjust and bond with the newest member of the family is so important, and a truly special time for parents. This is why Equinix provides the opportunity for our employees who become parents to spend this valuable time with their family.
Equinix has a paid time off policy for parental leave of eight weeks for U.S.-based employees. This policy provides time for both mothers and fathers to bond with their newborn, newly adopted child or new child through foster care placement.
We also continue to review the parental support that we provide to all employees. For example, in Hong Kong we increased paternity leave from five to seven days and maternity leave from 10 weeks to 14 weeks. In Canada, we have introduced a Maternity/Parental Leave Top Up plan to supplement benefits received from the Government employment insurance plans during this leave.
As part of our commitment to bring more consistency to our benefits offerings, we are currently conducting a review of our PTO and sick/vacation policies in each country.
In 2019, we launched a global EAP to ensure all our global employees have access to resources including well-being support, legal support, financial resources and mental health counseling in times of need. We made significant strides to raise awareness and promote the importance of mental health in a series of webinars.
Just as we empower our customers and communities to connect to everything and everyone that matters to them, we support our employees in every area and phase of their social, emotional, and physical well-being so they can thrive personally and professionally.
We increased our focus on promoting health and well-being in 2020. We recognized our employees were in unknown territory living through various states of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It disrupted work, education, health care, the economy and relationships, with some groups more negatively impacted than others. Widespread disruption and social unrest exacerbated the uncertainty people were facing. Given these stressors, we put several new well-being measures in place in 2020, including fundamental changes around expectations in the workplace as well as resources to support our employees.
Created and maintained a new global well-being site with 116 resources, received about 6000 visits
Launched manager “virtual café” where global managers come together to learn and share their experiences about how to identify and address signs of stress and burnout in their team members
Built a Well-being Community on Yammer with 800+ global members
500+ well-being break sessions were held, with 1,723 total attendees and a satisfaction rate of 95%
Launched six new “Finding a Better Way” initiatives to address worker burnout and mental health, including shorter meetings to allow for breaks between calls, No Meeting Wednesday, and new meeting and email norms.
Offered nine weekly employee-led movement and exercise classes (i.e. Yoga, Zumba, High-Intensity Training)
Hosted Global Sleep Workshops with 375 participants from 17 countries and 83 employees joined the 30-day Sleep Challenge where they tracked their sleep daily
EquiLife Connect, our U.S. Well-being Program through Virgin Pulse, is a fun, free online program to help our employees reach their health goals and earn up to US$300 in rewards along the way. It’s a great way to inspire our employees to eat well, sleep better, be more active, manage stress and more.
In 2020, we continued rewarding members for custom Equinix activities like participating in a volunteer event, receiving a flu shot, and completing an Annual Physical Well Visit Checkup. Our employees had more than 2 million interactions with the Virgin Pulse Champions Program platform and tracked more than 2 billion steps (2,013,559,651), with 7,871 as the average daily step count.
In 2017, a group of employees in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil came up with a challenge. The idea, which started as a bet between friends, was to encourage employees in Rio and elsewhere in the world to run 50 kilometers (km), about 31 miles, per month. Whoever didn’t make the monthly goal would have to donate R$50.00 to charity ($15). And for each person who reached the 50 km goal, Equinix Impact would donate R$100.00 (approximately $30.00).
“One thing a lot of people do not know about the 50K Global Challenge,” says Bekki Early, Global Wellbeing Program Manager, “is that it was started as a running challenge by an employee in Rio de Janeiro, Housing Operations Assistant Manager Rodrigo Castro, who is not especially fond of running. His primary motivation had more to do with bringing humans from a variety of backgrounds together and using an opportunity to give back to the larger community and world as motivation to make time for moving one’s body and looking after one’s health. The results were incredible, with a good number of employees gaining fitness, losing weight, rediscovering a love of running, feeling more connected, and most remarkably in the case of one employee, transitioning from a static lifestyle to completing a full marathon.”
The challenge has spread beyond Rio, with 165 employees joining via Strava in 2019, and nearly 300 participants in 2020, from locations as far away as Spain, across the U.S., and even Poland. Since the club’s founding in June 2017 through December 2020, our employees have run a total of 86,796 km. And the charitable impact has been significant: The club’s participants have raised and donated US$31,095 USD including the Equinix match. This program has helped employees be healthy, stay connected, and give back to a meaningful cause, even across countries and continents.