We are fortunate to be in an industry where we can do our jobs from home without interruption. From day 1 of our company’s existence, we took measures to always have the capabilities to be able to work from anywhere in the world. We work on cloud-based systems and every team member is equipped with laptops and other mobile tools. With so many uncertainties surrounding our current health crisis, we are not only in no rush to go back to the office, but we are fortunate to be in a position where we can take as much time as needed for our community to heal and for every member of our team to feel comfortable to resume work in a shared, enclosed space.
But beyond the question about when is it safe or comfortable to return to the office, the bigger question businesses face is addressing the vastly different circumstances of their team members. Some are parents with school-aged children (and younger) that face great challenges given the uncertainties surrounding the future of schools and learning. Some are caretakers to other family members that need them right now. Some have compromised immune systems or live with loved ones that do. And some are in complete isolation, which comes with a different set of challenges. Regardless of the individual circumstance, everyone has different hurdles when it comes to their ability and comfort level with returning to an office environment.
These past few months have shown the world that there is a different way to do business. There will not be a one-size-fits-all solution for any company. And we all need to exercise patience and compassion for what we have gone through — and continue to go through — as a collective, and that means in the business setting as well.
19 IDEAS will be looking to develop a plan that works for our clients’ needs and the company as a whole while being respectful of each individual team member and taking their specific needs or circumstances into account. That means being flexible and adapting to a new way of working across our team, as needed. We are fortunate to be able to put that type of focus on individuals, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
To come out of this crisis as a stronger company, stronger community, and stronger world, we must extend a great deal of compassion, understanding and flexibility to every person, every industry, and every aspect of our lives. Let’s work together to continue building this new world where we lead with our hearts. For 19 IDEAS, it’s not about going back to work; rather, it’s about moving forward with work. Let’s move forward together.
This post was inspired by this piece from The Buffalo News.