It has been nine weeks – and counting – since we last set foot in our corporate headquarters on Calle Los Angeles in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Like businesses everywhere, we had to quickly adapt to a remote way of working. And we’ve done that quite well. We continue to serve customers, while ensuring that the Wovenware culture remains intact. We’ve had a protocol for regular team meetings, employee check-ins for emotional well-being, and we continue to collaborate and actually have a bit of fun along the way. Check out the virtual musical performance – the Woven Music Jam COVID-19 edition.
Despite the silver linings, we all know video chats and phone calls can never replace real live interaction. Many employees have expressed a longing to get back to the office in order to have some sense of normalcy return. As of today, Wovenware is on track for a phased re-entry date of June 1.
As many businesses are doing, we’ve worked diligently to create a framework of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and protocols for that day and going forward to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors. So far, this is what we’ve planned:
- We’re establishing SOPs for all employees and visitors entering our corporate office, including required protective masks at all times inside the office. The SOPs and rules will be displayed on a poster outside the office.
- We will initially have a limited number of people in the office, starting with only up to 20 employees.
- We’ve purchased Wovenware-branded masks for each employee, as well as personal hand sanitizer and alcohol-based disinfectant for cleaning workstations throughout the day.
- We’re installing a hand disinfecting station next to the front door outside of the office.
- We also will be taking temperatures of employees every few hours.
- To maintain social distancing, we are moving workstations out so that they are all six feet apart from each other.
- We’re limiting use of common areas, such as the lunchroom, as well as all group gatherings until it is safe to do so.
- We’re reinforcing the importance of staying home if you are not feeling well or if someone you have come into contact with has tested positive.
While there will be clear-cut protocols for the office, our foremost concern is the well-being—both physically and emotionally—of our employees. We need to be flexible and understanding when it comes to employees with children at home and other family situations that are being impacted by the pandemic.
Like other companies in Puerto Rico, Wovenware will follow color-coded stages of return. Once the stay-at-home mandate (red zone) is lifted the company will move into the orange zone (workers will return who cannot do their jobs from home); followed by yellow zone (majority of workers) and finally the green zone when business is back to usual.
New information is coming out daily about the impact of COVID-19, best practices for combatting it, and dealing with the new normal, so flexibility will be key. What’s clear is that the return to the office will not happen overnight, but requires careful consideration and planning.
These are certainly strange times we are living in, and a new normal will emerge across businesses everywhere. What won’t be lost, however in this new normal is our commitment to our employees, customers, partners and the tech community. At Wovenware, we’ve always been open for business, but we’ll take new safe practices back to the physical space.