Greetings to our clients, friends and community partners!
I hope that you, your families and colleagues continue to be healthy and safe.
When I last posted just over a month ago, several states were just beginning the reopening process, and our firm was about to resume in-office operations after working fully remotely for nine weeks. Today, I thought I would share the key elements of our comprehensive Return-to-Work Plan that was successfully implemented five weeks ago. It has gone very smoothly, without incident or the occurrence of the virus within the firm. Currently the number of new cases in our community are rising and decisions to reopen must be carefully considered. Each business environment is unique, however, some of the practices we adopted may be worth considering if and as you chart your own path toward reopening.
Like you, our first and most important concern was and is the health and safety of all of our employees. Our planning team crafted the Return-to-Work Plan after a thorough review of the government mandates, the safety practices of essential businesses that remained open during the pandemic, and the guidelines provided by the CDC and local health care authorities. We defined protocols and policies for pre-entry to the office, use of common spaces, travel, and post-infection. Highlights include:
- Limiting the number of people in the office by dividing the firm into teams, with only one team at a time rotating into the office each week and allowing at-risk individuals and those with child care issues or other special circumstances to remain working remotely;
- Conducting daily temperature checks (with contactless infrared thermometers) and symptom assessments upon entry;
- Staggering start times for each workday;
- Assigning building entries and exits and “up only” and “down only” staircases;
- Setting strict rules regarding physical distancing and wearing face coverings;
- Closing high-contact areas such as break rooms and self-service kitchens;
- Eliminating group gatherings and conducting meetings online;
- Enhancing cleaning protocols, including providing hand sanitizers to all employees and strategically placing disinfecting wipes around the office;
- Restricting travel via common carriers and following quarantine protocols related thereto;
- Continually communicating and educating employees on the virus and the firm’s protocols, through emails, signage, and virtual meetings.
For now, we are even limiting visitors to our offices, and requiring those that must be present to wear face coverings and practice appropriate physical distancing as well. In addition to the health and safety of our employees, we are equally concerned about protecting clients, vendors and other visitors.
Our planning team continues to evaluate all of our policies and protocols, and refines the processes when necessary. We would be happy to share our plan with you in further detail, and help you implement your own safety measures as you prepare to, or would like to, refine your plan regarding your return to your workspaces.
In the meantime, be sure to visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for the latest updates and information about the many federal, state and local directives and mandates.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and be well!
William T. Dymond, Jr.
CEO & President