Last week a small group of staff and managers returned to the office on a voluntary basis with great anticipation and excitement. For many of us it was a welcome change to reunite and celebrate over lunch together—even if it was from a safe distance of “at least six feet apart!”
Part of our purpose onsite is to prepare the office for the return of more employees when it is safe to do so. Many of you have asked about our plans, and we are monitoring health recommendations and best practices to guide our staged return to the office.
Employee Survey Results Steer Our Actions
We recently asked you to complete a survey about your work location preferences and needs during the remainder of the pandemic. Your feedback stated:
- 51% are able to return the office, 49% are unable to return due to a variety of circumstances.
- 24% have children at home who require care or assistance with schooling.
- 67% would prefer to work remote.
- 12% would prefer to return to the office as soon as possible.
- 21% were comfortable either working remote or returning to the office.
We understand that for some, remote work has been ideal in the COVID-19 environment, while others feel returning to the office would be more productive and enjoyable for them.
Plans for Returning to the Office
- Until December 31, 2020, employees who would like to continue teleworking and are meeting expectations will be permitted to continue to telework.
- We are slowly reopening the building for employees who want to return.
- Additional members of the management team were invited to return June 1st on a voluntary basis.
- Employees who would like to return to the office will be welcomed back in the next phase later in June. More information about timing and process will be available soon.
- The office environment will be very different going forward. We are taking precautions recommended by authorities to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and create a work environment where you feel safe.
Building Maintenance & Reconfiguration
- The mechanics of the building have already had an extensive maintenance check, including maintenance and inspection of the HVAC system, bathrooms, and gym equipment. Any recommended updates or repairs have been completed or are scheduled to be completed.
- Conference rooms, the Bistro and common areas have been set up to comply with social distancing guidelines. Tables have fewer chairs spaced at a distance of at least six feet apart. Conference rooms have signs posted to doors noting maximum occupancy, and small conference rooms have been closed. New practices include wiping down conference rooms after use with provided disinfectant wipes.
Cleaning & Disinfection Protocols
- The building was thoroughly cleaned after the departure of our staff in March and was meticulously cleaned again on May 15. Increased frequency of bathroom cleanings will continue.
- Our cleaning partner, Clean-Rite, uses products and processes that comply with CDC criteria for use against COVID-19.
- Clean-Rite has also participated in a pilot program with an epidemiologist regarding cleaning and disinfection protocols to comply with NYS reopening guidelines and has prepared specific guidelines for eHealth Technologies.
- Your health and safety are our top priorities. Based on emerging guidance from New York State, employees who are returning to the office may be required to complete a brief electronic health assessment prior to each shift through a Paylocity survey accessible on your smart phone. Employees are encouraged to monitor their own temperatures and symptoms prior to coming to the office. Employee who are sick or have a fever over 100.4 F must stay home.
- Face masks are required in hallways and common areas. (Face masks will not be required in your workspace when you’re alone.) Facemasks are available onsite, or you can bring your own.
- Frequent hand washing is encouraged after touching doorknobs, light switches and other high-touch surfaces. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, or with provided hand sanitizer. Sanitizer stations are located in several areas of the building.
- We continue to monitor guidelines and are committed to complying with the latest safety standards. Out of respect for your coworkers, friends, and family, please protect yourself and others from the spread of germs by complying with all recommended guidelines.
We realize that this is a lot of information. The important thing to remember is that we are all in this together and are here to support one another. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. If you have specific questions, please feel free to contact Michelle Halloran, VP of Human Resources.