It seemed appropriate that on my drive into the office this morning I heard the song “Human Touch” by Bruce Springsteen. The song’s lyrics took on a broader meaning for me as I reflected on the last 14 months. During that time, Greenleaf Trust team members have been working remotely. That has meant long hours in front of a screen in physical isolation from each other. I recognize we have all had to personally deal with the pandemic in one way or another, but for a culture that thrives on teamwork, collaboration, communication, and social interaction it has been tough.

That is why we are extremely excited to announce that on May 24, Greenleaf Trust re-opened our offices to all team members who would like to return, per guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the governor of Michigan, and most recently the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). We are equally excited to also be welcoming clients back to our offices by appointment at first.

We take the health and safety of our team members and clients seriously and are following all public health orders and rules as we start the first of our phased approach to in-person office work. Our phase one is probably best described as similar to a soft opening at a restaurant. In-office operations are ramping back up with a limited number of team members and invitees at first. Phase two (date to be determined) will be more like a grand opening with our doors fully open to the public and clients while following any appropriate guidelines. Finally, phase three (date to be determined) will be back to business as usual.

A lot has been written about what the new workplace will look like longer-term post-pandemic. Chances are it will look different than it did before everyone started working remotely. Despite the unknown and the reality that we are still in a pandemic, many companies have already announced how their workplaces will look and behave in their new normal. Seems premature.

Things can and will change. The evolution of our working environment at Greenleaf will be an opportunity for us over the next several months. I think it is ok not to have all of the answers right now or announce some corporate wide one size fits all plan considering the situation is still very fluid. At Greenleaf, we are working together to thoughtfully craft our plan that will balance safety, flexibility, productivity, teamwork, and culture. Needless to say, it will have a little of that human touch as well.

We all came together to support each other over the last 14 months and we will continue to do so as we begin phasing back to the office in person. We look forward to seeing everyone again in person and are eager to show you some of our new spaces we created over the last year.