As we entered March, Workplace Resource was paying close attention to the likely decisions that would be made based on government mandates and gathering information from our network of dealers across the country to anticipate our next steps and plan of action. Ultimately, we instituted a Work From Home for all office employees in Colorado Springs and Denver two weeks before the local mandates to Stay at Home.
As a leadership team, much of the information we were getting revolved around the negative impact of COVID-19 on our business. We knew that our year was going to be strong, and our first quarter was bearing that out to this point. After numerous daily meetings for several weeks, our mission and priorities became very clear and simple – to Help First. As a sales and service organization, we understand the power of helping and needed to focus that effort on our employees, vendors, customers, and communities as our number one priority – even more than driving a transaction.
Our point of emphasis was to drive agility through all of our decisions and be ready to change quickly. To start, we prioritized safety first. This included the physical and psychological safety of our employees, our vendors, and our customers. Next, we focused on communication. It was more appropriate to over-communicate at every juncture of this journey and to do so with the transparency in being okay with not knowing every answer. Finally, we focused on being a resource to our customers, offering our expertise and point of view on the impact of the crisis on their environments and how we could help. Help is the keyword, as we did not want to immediately go into the market and try to sell – we wanted to listen and gather more information, as much of what we were seeing in our industry was a race to just have something to say, even though it could be wrong.
Along with our daily communications, we now deployed surveys to gather more in-depth info on how things were going. These surveys gave us great insight into what our employees missed about the office, how they felt their productivity was doing, what they felt about our communications to date, etc. This feedback gave us more opportunities to pivot and do better for them. Without that data, we certainly may not have been able to get to the point we are at currently with the comfort we have in our teams being cared for and doing okay.
We have now focused on communicating the safety aspect of returning to the workplace for those who are comfortable doing so. We have redesigned our spaces for the NOW to accommodate for physical distancing – our designers are fully up to speed with all guidelines and how to make what is currently in place work. The NEAR and FUTURE redesigns are underway to better support the work that needs to be done and the products that help it get done with the realities we now face.
We have also instituted a shift schedule that is voluntary for our teams to come into the office for those who chose to do so. We have signage and all the cleaning supplies necessary so that anyone coming back into the office can rest easier. Finally, in our safety protocols we are asking for participation from everyone to do the following when they come in: Mandatory Symptom Check, Wear Mask at all Times, Clean In and Clean Out of workstations, Hand Hygiene, and continual observance of the physical distancing rules.
During these changing times, we’ve been able to support our clients with the information we’ve gathered from Herman Miller and our dealer network throughout the country. In our document Creating Healthier Workspaces, we touch on creating better spaces that bring out the best in our client’s employees while we all continuously adapt to this new normal. The pages in this document help our clients to visualize what changes might look like for them and their employees and guide them to implement the proper changes needed for their specific needs.
Although we have just begun our journey to get back to work, we still have a lot to accomplish and much better info to now make decisions. The new normal is still showing that the culture of our company is our great people and that our places to work support those. Now, we need to make those places support us in a different way. Fortunately, our expertise will allow that to happen.