Updated: Jun 9, 2020
In retrospect, we were not prepared for the global pandemic that hit us in early March which crippled the global economy and brought about a ‘new normal’. We were fortunate to have made some recent improvements to our technical capabilities which allowed for our team to remote access to their workstations. Nevertheless, the idea of a fully remote office was not something we had envisioned or planned for in advance.
Henry Ford said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”. This quote is representative of the collective effort our team took to problem solving ways in which we could collaborate with each other while being socially responsible. Tools that were once nice-to-haves became absolute essentials. Our team’s agility in finding and leveraging those tools are what made our transition to a remote business model possible.
Now that we are back in our physical location, we find ourselves looking for ways to maintain social distance while collaborating in the same space. We have taken the following steps to ensure we keep each other safe:
· Continue to leverage the technology to reduce the need for close proximity collaboration.
· At risk employees and employees with children home due to lack of child care are still working remotely. The lower density of employees has helped to provide flexibility in designing ways to achieve maximum distance between stations.
· Each employee completes a self-assessment before they consider coming to work. Any sign of sickness, even if the symptoms are not common to the published virus symptoms, will trigger the employee to stay at home.
· Any employee who has cause to believe they may have been in contact directly or indirectly with a person who has been inflected are asked to self-quarantine for fourteen days and work from home.
· Masks are donned when leaving workspaces, traveling to or through common areas, as well as leaving and returning to the office.
· Masks are donned when entering a workspace to collaborate in close proximity.
· Our drafting studio has been redesigned to minimize close collaboration and to allow for each team member to be addressed without compromising other individuals space.
· Staff have been asked to use only their own dishes and utensils and clean them at home.
· When using common items such as coffee makers, fridges and microwaves, staff members wipe down surfaces touched with sanitizing wipes.
· Daily, all doorknobs, light switches, printers, and common area items are wiped down with sanitizing wipes.
· We encourage clients to interact with staff utilizing on-line tools as much as possible. Clients that must visit the office and delivery services are asked to don masks when entering our facility and are only able to pass the lobby area if required.
· Meetings are held in the back room where our group can maintain more than 6-feet of distance and masks are donned. The remainder of the staff attend the meetings remotely.
These steps are not easy nor are they comfortable, but they are necessary. Every member of the Gray & Fick team has taken to following these guidelines which is just another reminder of what it means to be part of the Gray & Fick family.
So, while we cannot share congratulatory high fives or pats on the back, we find ways to share long distance smiles and close quarter nods or winks of encouragement. Although, we look forward to a time when these measures are not necessary, seeing team members in masks while collaborating is a visual reminder of our ability to work as a group to achieve anything.