Week 8 of Jessica’s Journal

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Final Plans for Our Safe Return to Work (I Hope)

The leadership team at Hot Dog Marketing finished up our Return-to-Work plan for the team and it’ll happen in phases starting in August. Our Director of Strategy, our office manager, and I will return to the office Monday – Friday (as we can) since we don’t share an office or closed in space with another person. Our Marketing Director, Creative Director, and two client services managers will rotate days and alternating Fridays. The goal of this to have our more collaborative team members at the office with each other and to get used to going to work.

The remaining employees will be divided into teams and do a rotating schedule with alternating Fridays as a phase 2 with an undetermined date. I hope to have our leadership team comfortably rotating with some ease before inviting more to the office. We’ll start with no visitors, including clients, for now. We’ll do hybrid meetings with other team members for the time being too.

We also finalized a more formal work-from-home policy which I’m sure a lot of employers are looking at doing right now. When we were all forced to telecommute, we did without issue, but as we come out of the mandated stay-at-home orders, employees are going to be seeking clarification on what they’re allowed to do moving forward, so a more formal policy is appropriate. I’ll be asking our directors to review the policy during one-on-ones with their team to make sure they understand it.

In other interesting news, I discovered a recommendation to do an at-home safety checklist for employees to complete. Clarification in a work-from-home policy on what is covered by worker’s compensation plans is something to include and making sure your employees are working safely in their own environment isn’t something you can guarantee, but you can give them the tools to make good decisions.

What I’m Missing This Week

One thing I’m missing right now is my ability to see people’s faces in the moments of stress. I am not the best at reading Slack and Email messages with accurate emotional understanding. Sometimes I read into it too much, add tone of voice that shouldn’t be there. You name it – I’ll get anxious about it. I miss being able to see a person’s face when they’re raising an in-the-moment concern. I can better adjust my communication style to address their concern, try to make them feel better or give them what they need to hear to move on. With Zoom, you have some access to do that, but there’s no replacement for the in-person moment when things like this happen. I’m looking forward to August and being in the office, at least a couple days a week with the directors and client services team so we can get through our crazy workload together.