Many of you know the HTA team gathers once per month to have a meal together. We call it “Team Lunch” and it’s been a consistent part of the Howard Tech culture since our first day! Our work is fast-paced and the team is constantly busy. This monthly lunch allows us a regular and scheduled opportunity to do “life together.”
We last gathered in the office on Friday, March 13th. Little did we know then that we wouldn’t be together again for months! For April and May, we continued to eat together once per month and were able to connect as a team via Zoom. We’ve done the best we could do maintain relationships, but it’s not quite the same over a screen with 25 other small faces. So it was with great enthusiasm (and caution) that we gathered in our parking lot for lunch on June 12th. The weather was spectacular, the shade of the trees was awesome and it was great to see each other in person. Each month, one person shares “5 Things you didn’t know about me” and we heard great stories from Tom!
Tina, our Director of Operations, and a team of volunteers began a weeks long process to create a “back to the office plan” for our team. They studied CDC guidelines, best practices from other organizations and customized a protocol for HTA. We have thermometer stations, plenty of hand sanitizer and rearranged desks so to keep two people from facing directly at each other. Beginning June 15th, our team members are returning to the office at least one day per week. Some will do 2-4 days per week in the office but we’re trying to help everyone ease in at the proper pace for them.
From my perspective, we have maintained a solid level of productivity during the pandemic but have lost a great deal of the energy and team vibrancy that we previously had. Our efforts to return to the office will seek to regain some of that energy while allowing for some level of work from home. There are certainly many benefits to not commuting each day! For now, we will use the one day per week plan and expect to increase that gradually this summer. Hopefully Maryland continues its current trend of decreasing the spread of the virus.
Each company is different and we are seeing businesses consider a variety of options and they move forward. Please let us know how you’re doing and if we can support your return to the office. There are countless unknowns to come and we stand eager to serve you in any way we can.