When your company is called Time Out and overnight, all the cities of the world go into lockdown — when all restaurants, bars, theatres, cinemas, museums, shops, music venues, hotels and travel stop overnight, how do you survive? What is your raison d’être?
Time Out is present in 328 cities in 58 countries. As well as media, we operate six Time Out Market locations in Lisbon, Montréal, Boston, New York, Chicago and Miami. We had to make tough and immediate decisions with little knowledge of what was on the horizon.
Six months in, I want to reflect on the amazing work and resilience of our team, which enabled our iconic brand to stay relevant when most people in the world were forced to spend their time In as opposed to Out.
This has been a pivotal moment in Time Out’s rich history, and one that we did not expect. There was no time for feeling sorry for ourselves. What is apparent to me, more than ever, is how vital it is to be agile, adaptable and most importantly, innovative in a time of crisis.
How it began
In mid-March, when the notion of lockdown in many cities was looming, our leadership team had daily meetings to discuss the best strategy to deal with what was coming. By that time, our teams in Singapore and Hong Kong were already working from home. On Thursday the 12th of March, we decided to send our office-based employees home. That weekend, we closed Time Out Market locations worldwide to keep staff and visitors safe. In that week, the world we knew fell apart and w