As the world begins to re-open and re-define what it looks like to return to some sense of “normal,” there are many factors to consider. From a federal, state and local level, information is rampant and quickly changing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. One thing has remained the same throughout, a focus on keeping people as safe as possible.

In March, like many, we created a COVID-19 Task Force. The Task Force monitors the changing landscape, guidance, and legal orders put in place and ensures we are creating the appropriate policies and procedures to keep our clients and team members safe. Consistent with the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order in March, we seamlessly transitioned the majority of our team to the safety of their homes to work virtually. We have embraced our work environments and learned to manage our new normal as we continue working diligently on your behalf. Now, as we near the end of May, there is hope for a transition of more team members back to the office.

Our COVID-19 Task Force, along with senior leadership, have implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan to guide our actions. With the state of Michigan, and many others, entering into a similar phase of re-engaging more of the workforce, we surveyed our team members as to their comfort with returning to the office to work. Understanding the diversity around each person’s path in this journeysingle, family, children, health concerns, status, other family members’ job stability, impact from the disease, daycare/school issueswe want to understand and be respectful of the viewpoints and needs of our team members. Considering survey results, along with leadership needs of planning for re-entry based on who can and should return to the office, we created re-entry procedures that will provide safety, and accommodate the needs of our clients and team members while adhering to the guidance provided from a federal, state and local level.

We have procured necessary PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for our team members, initiated health monitoring of those entering our offices, reviewed each office location for safety to include capacity planning, social distancing, traffic flow in the building and meeting etiquette. As team members re-enter the office they will be provided with education, training and reminders of health etiquette, office protocol, ways to minimize the spread of COVID-19, and the location of safety equipment and how to properly use it.

Our goal is to re-engage team members into the office in phases and to monitor the transition, as well as the evolving situation and protocol for any accommodations needed. We will relax or enhance our efforts as appropriate each week going forward. As we master the return of team members and feel comfortable with our team’s safety, we will then look to re-engage our clients in the office. In the meantime, our meetings will continue to be often and virtual.

As always, our clients and teammates are our top priority. We will continue to monitor changes and update guidance to provide the safest environment for our clients and team members. We want each of you, and our team members to feel safe and comfortable and look forward to the day when we can all be together again.