Week 5 of Jessica’s Journal

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This week is all about planning on returning to the office. I’ve been thinking about how we’re going to handle this, and a lot of the final decisions will depend on the response to the survey I’m going to send to the team.

What? Rather than hypothesize what my employees are thinking, I think I’ll just ask them.

I have some big decisions to make like: Does everyone want to return to the office? Or do we let some people be a part of a permanent remote workforce? If we do that, should I give them a stipend to set-up a better home office? Do they want to rotate people in and out? What’s the point? Do we have to come up with a “new normal”? – That term is really wearing on me. I can’t make any of these decisions without feedback from our team.

Here’s the survey draft I’ll probably send out to everyone (feel free to borrow it):

Do you want to return to the office?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

How productive do you feel working from home?

  • Extremely Productive
  • More Productive Than at the Office
  • Same Productive as Working at the Office
  • Less Productive Than at the Office
  • Not Very Productive

If given the option to continue working from home indefinitely, how would you react:

  • I would love to continue working from home! I love it!
  • I would like to work from home occasionally but want a desk at the office too.
  • I feel indifferent about it.
  • I prefer working at the office and only want to work from home if necessary.
  • I want to come to the office every day!

Are you able to commute safely to work?

  • Yes
  • No

Do you have health concerns personally or with people you live with that would put you at higher risk?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

Is childcare a concern if you’re asked to return to the office?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not Applicable

Are you able to take your temperature before you leave for work?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

If we were not to return to the office soon, what are some ideas you have for making your WFH experience better?

Other comments:

Here’s my LONG, exhausting list of needs and rules to put in place if we do come back (feel free to steal these too):

  • Hand sanitizer for each room
  • Wipes for offices and conference rooms
  • Close the common space areas; Eat at desks
  • Clients – only one person at a time please
  • Masks during meetings if requested by client or fellow employee
  • Meetings can’t exceed 2 Hot Dog employees (Client Services and a Director)
  • Sick employees asked to get tested; Temperature 100 degrees or more, stay home.
  • No coffee or snacks; no shared silverware or plates or cups.
  • Microwave and water remain available, one person at a time in the area
  • Sanitize conference rooms between meetings
  • Disposable masks for the conference rooms
  • Employees asked to use hand sanitizer when they leave their desk and come back to their desk
  • Use of disposable gloves to handle trash
  • Cleaning increased to weekly
  • Sanitize microwave; water filter; security pad, bathroom doorknobs and sink handles each day
  • Enter through the backdoor and exit through the front door.

Possible Phases of Returning to the Office:

Phase 1: Office Manager, Directors and Client Services work at the office as needed – Work from home as needed.

Phase 2: Production staff that is more productive at the office may return; Directors and CSMs continue to come in as needed for meetings. Coffee and snacks become available again. Meetings can include up to 4-6 people.

Phase 3: In-office employees return to the office again. Common areas open up. Masks required if you’re hanging out outside of your desk space. Meetings can be held at capacity in the conference rooms.

Signs Needed for the office:

  • One Person at a Time in the Kitchen Area
  • Please wear masks for in-person meetings.
  • Stop! If you feel sick please return home and call you doctor.
  • Sorry! We don’t shake hands right now.

Local universities and other state offices will start opening in July. Large corporations are looking at a rotating schedule and creating traffic patterns in their office space to avoid people running into each. They’re limiting the number of people in an elevator, asking people to not have meetings or gathering in common areas. When you take all of the gatherings away, what is the point of coming back to the office? Google, Twitter, Facebook, and other enormous employers are saying, you can stay at home indefinitely. I’ll let you know what we decide.