Going Back to the Office? Now what?

05/04/2020 | by Doyle Sanders

back to the office

Back to School, Oops, Work!

With a lot of State Governors and Local Government Leaders allowing their  Coronavirus / COVID-19 / “Stay at Home” / Quarantine orders to expire or reissuing less stringent ones, I’m sure many of us are actually getting excited about getting back to work or at least getting back to our offices and regular workplaces.

Everyone has likely been experiencing “cabin fever” – feeling cooped up and restricted, getting on each other’s nerves, missing the office water cooler, and on and on.  I realize there is not total agreement on the timing of the returning to the new normal.  This post isn’t about that, but about what to think about and prepare for as we do get back to work.  And, we will get back to work!

This situation sort of reminds me of going back to school when I was a kid.  I guess I was one of the odd guys that really did get excited about going back to school — new clothes, getting to see friends I hadn’t seen all summer, going to the next grade, new teachers, new classes, etc.

Getting back in the regular swing of things and going back to work will likely entail similar situations.  Many of us will probably be wearing clothes we haven’t worn in a while since we’ve been “dressing down” during the COVID-19 quarantine, will be seeing the actual faces and not the little square images from the video conference software, will be interacting more directly with our customers, and dozens of other activities and situations that have been paused or were very different while in quarantine.

So what now?

What about your office?  Your desktop computer that was likely turned off the entire time you were out of the office.  You’ll need to power it up and connect to your network.  Did it boot up?  Do you remember your network password?  Are you still connected to the correct printers and other peripheral devices?  Oh, does the coffee maker need cleaning, and does it still work??  Gotta get the important things functioning!

Or, does your company want you to continue working from home?  Did they discover that productivity is better?  Is everyone holding themselves to a higher level of accountability?  How will your customers react? Will they be ready to engage?  What will you need to do to be ready to engage with them?  With one another?

Our Next Steps

SandStorm IT has decided to take a phased approach to resuming operations from our offices.  As of Monday, May 4, 2020, we are removing the restrictions for onsite service calls to be for Emergency and High Priority needs as we announced in our blog post on March 18, 2020.   We are also transitioning a small number of our team members back to our office, with the rest of the team still working from home as they have been doing for the last 5 or 6 weeks.  We will require appropriate social distancing at the office as well as proper hygiene and handwashing.  We will have face masks available for any interaction with another person.  We will still try to minimize any unnecessary contact with others when at all possible.  We will continue to monitor and adhere to the guidelines from our governmental leaders as best as we can.  Like others, we are discovering that some of the practices we adopted while quarantined may be able to be continued as long as they don’t hamper or hinder our abilities to serve the needs of our customers and they keep our customers and team members safe and healthy.

Additionally, as part of our “we’re here to help” philosophy, SandStorm IT will be publishing several posts in the coming days speaking directly to some of these topics, plus others.  If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to address, just let us know and we’ll do our best to do so!

New Normal

Things are going to be different.  What we thought of as normal is a thing of the past.  We must find, or better yet, define our New Normal for our businesses, our jobs, our customers, our  lives.  Due to this COVID-19 Pandemic, nothing will be the same again.  But to be sure, we can seize this opportunity to declare the New Normal and make it even better than before!  It is our choice.  Let’s choose wisely.

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