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Inside Track: Labels’ Back-to-Office Plans Include Massages, Mediation, Free Lunch & Concerts

"The world has changed and the workplace experience has to reflect that," says Masha Osherova, WMG exec vp and chief people officer.

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, music companies are welcoming back employees with a wide range of healthy perks to lessen the stress of returning to the office after two years of working from home.

Warner Music Group and publishing arm Warner Chappell offer staffers massages, reiki sessions and even sound baths in their Los Angeles, New York and Nashville offices, as well as complimentary lunches and smoothies. Baristas also man coffee stations to encourage face-to-face conversation and collaboration among returning workers who may have only seen each other over Zoom for months. There is also a full slate of virtual programs ranging from yoga, wellness classes and meditation. WMG’s recorded music division began welcoming staffers back in late February, while the publishing company and corporate team returned March 1, all on a hybrid basis.


“The world has changed and the workplace experience has to reflect that,” says Masha Osherova, WMG exec vp and chief people officer. “The success of the vaccination program means that we’ve been able to come together again safely and benefit from in-person collaboration. Everything we’ve been doing to make our workplace special on our return to office, from our hospitality offering to our wellness program, is designed to nurture shared culture and empower our people to do their best work. We’ll continue to be purposeful as we enable our people to work more healthily, easily and happily, while doing our bit to support society and the planet.”

Sony Music Entertainment’s offices began allowing employees to return voluntarily to the office in phases starting last year. In the U.S., staffers returned on a broader basis beginning March 14 with hybrid flexibility. Employees came back to meditation, group counseling sessions, fitness classes and free lunch, coffee and snacks.

Ruston Kelly
Ruston Kelly Concord Group

Similarly, Concord staggered the reopening of its offices. Staffers in Nashville and New York returned to brand new offices a few weeks ago, while they and employees in Miami, London and Berlin were greeted with a back-to-work lunch and activities tailored to each location. For example, Nashville hosted a private concert with Concord Music Publishing and Rounder artist Ruston Kelly. Concord’s Los Angeles office will be the last Concord outpost to open April 4.

Universal Music Group began bringing back staffers Jan. 18 with Universal Music Group Publishing returning on March 14, all on a hybrid schedule

“Our return-to-office approach prioritizes employees’ health and safety and hybrid work schedules that provide flexibility and consideration for employees’ personal circumstances, alongside the needs of the business,” says Eric Hutcherson, UMG’s chief people and inclusion officer. “In order to manage the return thoughtfully and carefully, each business leader is empowered to determine their team’s individual return to office plans, as long as they are consistent with the company’s U.S.-wide guidelines and applicable public health regulations. These practices have helped us maintain a safe and productive workplace.”

. BMG does not open its U.S. offices until May 1.