A RETURN TO THE OFFICE: HOW VARI® SAFELY BROUGHT BACK EMPLOYEES
Like many companies, bringing employees back to the office amidst a pandemic presented a host of new challenges. In this article, we’ll review the measures we took here at Vari to safely bring back our teams.
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Like many companies, bringing employees back to the office amidst a pandemic presented a host of new challenges for the team at Vari. But, with a thoughtful strategy, physical measures and clear communication, the team returned to the office knowing their safety was top-of-mind for company leadership.
In this article, we’ll review the measures we took here at Vari to safely bring back our teams.
First and foremost, as the pandemic hit, company leadership set up a COVID-19 task force to deal with the unique challenges that resulted. This group met daily to ensure that each challenge that arose was met with careful thought and a sense of urgency.
Once the task force met, the first order of business was to reconfigure our company headquarters in order to meet the new physical distancing requirements, as recommended by the CDC. This was accomplished via a distance-based layout, which was carefully created by the experts on our space planning team.
As part of the new layout, our Electric Standing desks were spaced six feet apart with the help of our 60 x 30 tables. Additionally, our Acrylic Privacy Panels were installed between each desk in order to minimize peer-to-peer contact. And finally, our QuickFlex Walls® were used to create separation where needed. Since our products are in-stock and built for flexibility, we were able to adapt and rearrange in a matter of weeks.
We then began the process of bringing back employees in phases, with a new departmental group coming into the office every week. As employees returned and entered the building, only one entry point was allowed in order to utilize our automated temperature scanner, which provided another layer of safety. With the use of floor signage, employees received directional guidance on where to walk throughout the office to allow for social distancing.
In order to help reduce germ transmission, several methods were utilized. The use of face masks has been mandated when inside the building, for both employees and visitors to our headquarters. Second, no-contact hand sanitizer stations were added throughout the building, plus each employee received a bottle of hand sanitizer for their desk.
Last but not least, open conversations were encouraged as we returned to the office. Our open-door policy encouraged employees to express concern or ask questions of their manager, if needed. To further our goal of open communication, our CEO held a weekly Zoom meeting with the entire company so that updates could be provided directly and frequently to employees.
With the physical measures in place, clear communication, and a focused task force, we have persevered through this challenging time. As we look to the future, we are confident in our ability to adapt our environment in order to create a comfortable and safe workplace for our employees.