The Pending Decision
As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out and the clouds begin to clear, when should companies expect things to get back to business as usual? While there is a permanent change in workplace dynamics and expectations with remote work, there are still employees that want to get back to the office again, at least part-time. But when do you know it is the right time, if ever, to bring the whole team back in-person?
There is no cookie cutter answer to this question. Depending on your organization’s size, products and services, and location, your path back to the office could look very different. We also do not know what the future holds, how long it will take to be on the other side of the pandemic, or what that truly looks like. On the other hand, some companies have already moved back to the office with a full staff and many have done so safely, carefully, and with their employees and mission in mind. Not to toot our own horn, but we think our company is one of them.
During the early stages of the pandemic, Profound Technologies was granted the status of essential business in both Pennsylvania and California for our collaboration and technology solutions for companies, government agencies, and high-end homes. While there was a time when the full team was quarantined and working from home, during the summer of 2020 we decided to take the next step. We treat our company like a family, and have been in this together from the start. When the technicians were back in the field, the office workers were back at their desks.
This decision was not made haphazardly and the amount of preparations for our employees’ return was carefully planned and enforced to keep everyone safe. During the last nine months, our employees have worked in the office while following CDC recommended procedures and have ramped up activity, teamwork, new ideas, and finished projects. AND we have not experienced any spread of the virus among team members.
What are some ways we took care of our team during the pandemic while having people out on job sites and sitting at cubicles? Here are four big steps we took, and hopefully you and your companies can be encouraged that if you decide to return to your workspace, it could be successful and safe for you too.
1. Follow the Rules
The first priority for going back to the office is to continually follow CDC recommendations. Even as things hopefully improve over the next few months, keep the expectations for team members in line with what the experts recommend. Your team’s health is the top priority.
At Profound, we have made several changes to remain socially distant and safe. Here are the procedures we established in the beginning and have maintained.
- Wear masks when moving around the office or working onsite
- Limit the number of people allowed in common areas and remain socially distant
- Wash your hands and sanitize regularly throughout the day
- Wipe down all common surfaces after use (while the whole office is also sanitized twice a day)
- Use the check-in station at the entrance each day with our Tauri Temperature-Check Tablet where you take your temperature, get some hand sanitizer, and complete the check-list to ensure you are symptom free!
2. Encourage Flexibility with Remote Work
Especially during this new era of the workplace, companies that do go back to the office still need to grant flexibility for their team to work from home from time to time. While Profound loves having people active and working at the office, we have been encouraging employees to work from home when they are feeling under the weather, have to help their families, or are returning from travel.
Whether working in the office or from home, we encourage our team members to have a work-life balance that keeps them happy in their professional and personal lives. Not only that, we want to make sure employees who may have been more exposed to the virus or feeling sick have some time at home to check their symptoms and help keep their colleagues healthy.
3. Invest in Your Collaboration Rooms
Unless your company never plans to have employees back in the office again, reliable and high-quality meeting rooms will be essential for your workplace to keep your in-person and remote workers united as a team. The hybrid model will become increasingly popular in the future, so prioritizing conferencing systems and collaboration technology will provide your team with an easy and efficient way to communicate, wherever they are.
As a company that specializes in this, we have continued to work on our own collaboration rooms and conferencing solutions to better our team’s meeting experience, as well as our customers’. We have developed a Touch Free Conferencing feature for meeting rooms and have grown in our relationships with the top conferencing software companies of our time (Zoom Gold Certified Integrator has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) to provide a native Zoom and Microsoft Teams conferencing experience.
These new developments have helped our team improve our communication with those inside and outside the office as we continue to use our conference rooms safely and grow in our expertise of the industry.
4. Enjoy In-Person Communication, Safely
I think we can all agree that one of the biggest benefits of being back in the office is seeing our friends in-person again. The community at Profound has always valued relationships, teamwork, and helping each other out. By being back in the office, we can still see each other smiling under our masks and can communicate in-person, whether about a current project, a movie we liked, or how our families are doing during this time.
No matter what your company decides on returning to the office, remember to keep company culture alive and people taken care of and valued. Chances are the people and friendships are some of the reasons your employees have enjoyed your company from the start. Continue to adapt and cultivate those relationships into this next phase of the workplace.
Best of luck to you and your business as you decide on the best path forward for your employees! If you have any more questions on how we transitioned back to the office or how we could set up your conference rooms for the big move back, fill out the form below or give us a call, and we’d be happy to help you out!