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2 February 2023

When will the Guardian let staff return to the office?

The title’s employees remain stuck at home following last December’s ransomware attack.

By The Chatterer

Spare a thought for the poor souls at the Guardian. It’s now more than a month since they were allowed into their swanky offices near King’s Cross. And there’s no sign of an imminent return.

ICYMI: the Guardian confirmed last month that it had suffered a ransomware attack and that the personal data of some staff members had been accessed. The “highly sophisticated cyberattack” was detected on 20 December and staff have been working from home since.

Staff complain of having been “kept in the dark” by management in recent weeks. Possibly cognisant of this, the Guardian’s executive team hosted a call with staff on Tuesday 31 January to update them. The Chatterer’s pals still don’t seem to have a clear idea, though, of when exactly they will be able to make their long-awaited return to the London office.

Insiders tell the Chatterer that a “phased return” is apparently slated for late February. In the meantime some teams have begun to congregate in a WeWork shared office space.

This might seem a bit OTT, notes one source, considering the Guardian – like most other newsrooms – coped alright during the pandemic. But the Chatterer can certainly sympathise with the idea that staff might be craving some old-fashioned newsroom atmosphere.

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Meanwhile, Australia’s Financial Review reports today that the personal information of 140 people who worked for Guardian Australia – “including tax file numbers, bank account and superannuation details, salary and addresses” – were exposed as part of the ransomware attack.

How much worse can things get for the Guardian?

[See also: The Zahawi affair only proves the power of journalism]

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