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Although it is too early to know exactly when our nation can fully return to our places of work, it is prudent for SKG, to take the first steps in creating Return to Site, Health and Safety programs that ensure the future success of our business and partnerships. SKG has administered a well-researched Health and Safety Protocol to keep our team, their families, and our clients safe as we return to the office.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, SKG encouraged staff members to participate in conscious sanitation while at the office. We also prepared to quarantine all sick staff members in their home if they reported signs of symptoms associated with COVID-19. Any employee who traveled outside of Texas, was encouraged to remain away from the office for the recommended 14-day quarantine period.
Knowing that the company would require a more detailed plan for the safety of our team, SKG began laying the foundation for a Health and Safety Protocol that would be applied across all employees in our Austin and San Antonio offices.
SKG’s Health and Safety Protocol is characterized by three phases. The first two phases focus on clear communication and keeping our team safe while adhering to local and state legislation. By isolating employees during on-site rotating schedules and tracking which employees are at each facility, SKG was able to track any potential exposure and limit cross-contamination. The third phase will focus on the future of SKG and how we plan to move forward in a Post-COVID environment.
During Phase 1, approximately 25% of our staff returned to the office through two bi-weekly on-site rotations. A team color was assigned for each rotation – blue and orange. This phase focused on effective communication, exceptional staff safety, thorough facility sanitation, and maintaining morale across all staff members. In addition to transparent company status updates, SKG provided fun virtual activities and Happy Hours for our staff.
Each employee was required to complete a daily health screening and thorough sanitation before entering the work area. To encourage safe collaboration, we used signage in our open spaces with occupancy maximums and social distancing protocols. Face masks were mandatory for all staff members stepping away from their desk or working in high traffic areas. Employees who traveled outside of Texas were still required to self-quarantine.
Every workstation was separated from other employees using social distancing requirements, panel solutions, or private offices. An isolation room available on-site was dedicated for team members who present symptoms while in the office. In addition, each team member is provided access to storage to hold personal items or food.
Because our industry requires on-site deliveries and installations, our warehouse team were provided thorough PPE and sanitation protocols to keep our clients and themselves safe. Before arriving to the installation site, the client would complete a Safety Survey with one of our team members to ensure that our installers would be working in a safe environment.
Before initiating Phase 2, our executive team concluded that safety needed to start at home base. SKG renovated our Austin and San Antonio working showrooms to be more inclusive of the new safety needs of our staff upon returning to the office.
During our renovation, our design team created an occupancy map to outline the maximum occupancies in each space. This will be used to keep our staff conscious of social distance protocols and create safe spaces for our clients to collaborate with our team while on site.
As we move into Phase 2, SKG will welcome 50% of our staff back to site. Because of the success and acceptance of Phase 1, we will continue the implementation of two rotating teams. The employees who were chosen to be included in Phase 2 would be assigned to one of the two teams currently in rotation.
During Phase 2, we will continue to require daily health screenings and thorough staff sanitation before entering our showroom. We require our employees to collaborate safely using masks and proper social distancing. All out-of-state travel will be monitored by our HR department. Our installation teams will continue to follow proper PPE and sanitation protocols in addition to the client Safety Surveys.
Phase 3 will lead with decisions for the business and each department. During this time, SKG will re-evaluate the business as whole in preparation for long-term success while maintaining the safety protocols identified in Phase 1 & 2.
Although we do not know exactly what Phase 3 will entail, we are confident that SKG’s Health and Safety Protocol and Return to Site plan has thoroughly outline a successful re-entry into the a Post-COVID market.
SKG protected our employees and their families by initiating preparatory safety measures before returning to site. Our Health and Safety Protocol was laid in place months before we, as a company, planned to be back in our office space.
Because of these preemptive measures, we were better prepared for the return of our employees and more capable to provide support for our clients as they began their return.
As SKG transitioned, we knew that we would have to pivot our current budgets and fiscal goals to reflect the current state of the world. By beginning the discussion early on, SKG was able to secure our financial position and defend our business with transparent communication, strong company loyalty, and rigorous budget management.
As we learned from our own Health and Safety Protocol and Return to Site experiences, change can be a catalyst for growth. Though we may not know what changes await us, SKG’s family of skilled professionals will continue to provide a healthy and safe environment for our team and our clients.