Transitioning Back to the Workplace
written by Janet Divin
With the uncertainty of knowing when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, it can be difficult to imagine what version of normal we have waiting for us. One thing we know for sure is that the world we knew before is a thing of the past. The longer we must deal with the coronavirus, the more challenging it will be for businesses to pick back up where they left off. Our office has put a plan in place to find that new normal and to continue to take care of our employees and our clients.
The management team at The Arkitex Studio have made this a winning organization by their leadership through this time of crisis. How has your place of business helped to ease back into the workplace?
Here are some things our office has done to create a smooth transition:
Make a plan but re-evaluate
Our office and employees have experienced a pandemic for the first, and hopefully the last, time. This has affected each person in our office in different ways. One of the perks of working for a smaller, more intimate firm is our ability to communicate and truly work together to adapt to this ever-changing environment. Flexibility during this time has been a huge asset for our office. There are children at home with schools and childcare programs closed, spouses who work in the medical field and risk bringing the effects of their work home with them, other family members who need to be taken care of, etc. We are all on the same team, working towards the same goals, but we each have different circumstances in our lives. Being able to work somewhere that acknowledges that and makes plans accordingly is so helpful to everyone.
Communication is key
Each of our employees have different experiences with this pandemic. The management team has done an excellent job reaching out to each of the staff individually and as a group to see where everyone is. Our ZOOM meetings and interoffice team chats have kept the lines of communication open while even throwing in some humor along the way! We had an awesome group of people on our team before this pandemic hit, so there has been a natural feeling of working this out and moving forward together.
Finding the new normal
We are fortunate to be in an industry where most of our work can be done virtually anywhere. Meetings are still needed to accomplish our tasks with contractors. Some have been strictly over the phone or video call and others have been at the job site outside (instead of the job trailer) and masks have been required. When meeting with our clients, we have been able to keep a 6-foot distance and, when needed, net virtually via Zoom or GoToMeeting. It has been a bit awkward not shaking hands though! Through it all, we have learned to remain calm and rational in our daily life so we can give our projects the attention they need.
The team at The Arkitex Studio hopes you are all doing well, getting back into a routine and hopefully learning new ways to live in this ever-changing world.