Getting Back to Work Safely: Business Brew Work-From-Home Edition #2

The June Business Brew focused on a conversation about getting employees back to work safely after working from home. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused, among other more tragic things, lots of adjustments and changes for employees, families, communities, and cities. 

Gretchen Renz from Bernardo Wills Architects brought her 28-years of experience at Bernardo Wills Architects in Spokane to the conversation. As the firm has grown from five people to 40, Gretchen has progressed from receptionist to business manager.  She holds a B.S. in Accounting from Western Governors University and has primary responsibility for the operations and business strategies of the firm.

You can watch the full video of the Business Brew Work-From-Home Edition #2 below, but here are the main takeaways from the conversation. 

  1. Before bringing your team back into your business, make sure you survey the employees. Find out what their concerns and worries are before you make any changes. 
  2. Create a plan for cleanliness and sanitation in your workplace. In addition to local or state regulations, consider the results of the survey as you formulate your workplace cleaning and sanitation practices. 
  3. Internal communication is key. Whether your team will continue working from home or returning to the office, ensure communication best practices as a way to keep everyone on the same page and keep things moving. 
  4. Consider the future and what changes will stick and what changes will return to pre-COVID normal. A lot of opportunities have arisen as a result of pivoting for COVID-19. Make sure you’re open to new ways of doing business.
  5. Create emotional space for your employees, whether they are returning or staying at home. Make sure it’s ok for your team to not be ok. 
  6. Similar to creating emotional space, extend grace to your team. When they aren’t ok, be flexible and offer support. Remember, they’re likely not only working from home but also responsible for being a teacher to their kids. 

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