As states across the country begin easing restrictions and reopening their economies, companies are busy developing safe workplace procedures. While essential businesses like Ruan have largely allowed team members to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, planning to return to the workplace is in full swing.
“Our Des Moines Campus staff and operations team members at our more than 300 operations across the country have been safely working remotely since mid-March,” said Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Sales Planning Tara Meier, who is a member of Ruan’s Business Continuity Task Force. “Despite not being in the office, our team members have done an incredible job supporting our professional truck drivers and technicians and ensuring we deliver our customers’ goods so they are available to consumers. In fact, we’ve heard from customers that service has continued as usual—there’s been no disruption.”
While team members are successfully working remotely, Ruan’s Business Continuity Task Force is developing phased plans to return to the workplace.
“We will not return to the workplace too soon, but we look forward to gathering together in our offices. Ruan’s in-person interactions are a key driver of our culture, of who we are and why we are successful. It is important to our customers and team members,” said Ron Hanson, chief administrative officer and task force leader. “We are closely monitoring federal, state, and local regulations and guidelines to make the determination for when we’ll return to our Des Moines Campus and also our nationwide operations.”
The task force has determined that team members will return to their offices in four phases, and each phase will likely last at least two weeks. Within each phase, team members might stagger their return. First, team leaders—about 15 percent of the workforce—will return, followed by another 25 percent. In phase three, the rest of the workforce will resume working in their offices. Those in phase four, who might have health concerns for themselves or their family members, will return after other issues and concerns are addressed.
Team members will not return until each office has protocols in place for the following:
“We are considering different start and end times to the workday to reduce elevator congestion. We will limit conference room and common area use. We are developing mandatory cleaning and sanitizing protocols for individual workspaces, as well as common areas. We are evaluating our workspaces to ensure there are at least six feet between employees,” Hanson said. “Our task force is focused on identifying areas of risk—and then plans to mitigate those risks.”
Throughout these unprecedented times, communication has been key. The Business Continuity Task Force holds daily meetings, then sends communications to all team members with updates on the latest developments. A dedicated email address was created for all COVID-19-related questions/comments, we created a COVID-19 information page on our intranet, and leaderships holds weekly calls with field and Des Moines Campus leaders. Using top-notch technology, like Microsoft Teams, has played a key role in allowing our team to stay connected.
When it is time to return to the workplace, Ruan will be ready. We will continue regular communication with our team members, customers, and other partners to ensure there is no disruption of service with the goal that our team members remain healthy and comfortable.