Through the COVID-19 pandemic, QPS branch offices have remained open. However, like many businesses, we adjusted our practices for the safety of our recruiters and applicants. Now as many states are introducing phased-approach plans to safely open back up for business, we are once again adjusting while staying laser-focused on safety, as well as the individual concerns that many of our employees have.
While remaining open, many of our employees have performed their jobs remotely since mid-March. As we spoke to employees about our plan to move them from remote work by returning them to branches, some have expressed concerns for various reasons and we have heard each concern with understanding, empathy and flexibility. You may be experiencing the same apprehensions among your staff as well.
What we found to be crucial was a well laid out “Safe At Work” plan. Employees engaged in conversations with their manager to contribute to the overall plan.
Here are some things we are doing to prepare for our new normal:
• First we set a date for remote workers to return to branch locations. This will happen in a staggered approach, no more than 25% at a time in any given week for all QPS locations.
• Masks will be required for all visitors and our internal teams will wear masks where they are unable to social distance or are required by state order, such as, in Illinois. We have purchased large quantities of both cloth and disposable masks and encourage employees to bring their own as well.
• We established “QPS Cares Stations” at every entrance way, offering paper disposable masks and sanitizer for our visitors. We are also communicating the need to wear a mask at the time interviews are set up. Those interview times are staggered so we do not have a congregation of applicants at one time in our lobbies.
• Social distancing measures are in place and walkways are marked to guide employees on where to stop and wait to be called. These markings were accomplished through simple painters tape to ensure bottlenecks and collisions around corners are avoided and proper 6 feet distance measures can be achieved.
• Our branch location configurations when possible include 6 feet distance between desks and interview spaces. One idea we have piloted is a Plexiglas barrier. We only have a few of these today as we evaluate the experience and the effectiveness of these measures. We believe testing ideas out to find the best safety measures is a good practice.
• Our branch doors are open in all areas, however we will monitor “hot spots” based on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Tracker, CDC, and other reliable resources, while being prepared to work remotely as needed if safety becomes an issue.
Lastly, we are committed to demonstrating agility in our approach, rather than a “one size fits all” approach to ensure employee safety, along with continuous input from our employees. After all, we are in this together and it will take all of us to discover our new normal and the best way possible to be "safe at work". QPS maintains tremendous pride in continuing to serve the needs of our clients, communities, overall supply chain and most importantly, our people. It is an honor to serve you during this challenging time and we are excited to move forward with you as we discover our new normal together.