Returning to Office During a Pandemic
As of March, the city of Houston has gone on lockdown due to a global pandemic affecting many families financially, emotionally, and physically.
The Coronavirus has kept families from going to work, going to school, visiting family or friends and more. In early May, Governor Abbott lifted quarantine and allowed businesses to reopen and return to office
A father of three and an attorney at Beck Redden LLP shared his feelings on returning to the office and sharing strategies on how he continues to stay safe while working during a pandemic.
Marcos Rosales enters the building with gloves and a face mask. “I want to make sure I am safe as possible whether we are in a second wave or not. I have a family at home to take care of,” Marcos said.
Marcos feels like it was a call made too soon to return to the office. They have come up with an A and B system where employers can come in twice a week and the other three days, they would be able to work remotely. When the employers of Beck Redden LLP clock in for work, they must wipe everything down before touching it and wipe down again once they leave for the day.
A staff member of Beck Redden LLP expresses how returning to the office was a bad idea and how it has affected her and her family.
April Corona works from seven in the morning until four in the afternoon. When she gets in, she continues to work on projects that she receives from attorneys. However, she feels like this is taking time away from helping her kids with summer school. “It is such a hard time because I am trying to balance work and teaching my kids. With me not being there, they have to teach themselves,” April said.
She also mentioned how the A and B schedule works to an extent. “Recently, our main receptionist had to call out for a week so she can get tested and since I am her backup, I have to put my projects on pause to cover for her.” April strongly feels that they should continue to work remotely until it is safe.
Katie Tullis, Executive Director of Beck Redden LLP along with partners has created this A and B schedule that she feels works perfectly.
Reopening the office will help the business stay on track and help make up for the loss money and clients.
Katie Tullis expressed how she felt on her plan. “I feel like this plan has been working smoothly for the most part. In order for us to continue to pay our employees their exact salary, we needed to reopen,” Katie said.
She has only allowed up to five people per conference room for any meeting that needs to be held. She has cut access to any outside food and if they do want to order outside food for clients, their meals must come in individually, packaged boxes.
As of last week, the LyondellBasell Tower in which Beck Redden is located in, has confirmed eight positive cases since early June. They have emailed every company to inform them and so that they can take caution. In the email, they included what company they were with, what floors they have visited, what days they were in the building, and what specific elevator they used.
Many Beck Redden LLP employers started to become more concerned as they kept receiving these emails. They started to question the firm’s priorities and if they truly cared about their employers and their health.
On June 26th, Katie Tullis sent out an email to all of Beck Redden LLP staff and attorneys. The email read “We are likely going to pull back and go back to attorneys only in the office. We are working on how to manage visitors and/or front desk items. I would like your input.”
As of Monday, June 29th staff is to continue to work remotely and to inform the executive director of any new clients or meetings. Beck Redden LLP is now only open to attorneys until further notice and attorneys must wear masks and continue to wipe down their work spaces before and after leaving.