The pandemic rearranged everyone’s lives. Most office workers began working remotely — some, for the first time. Managers scrambled to ensure employees had the technology and the set-up to work from home, and employees struggled with the logistics of the office/dining room/playroom combo.
Sensible Financial was fortunate to enter the crisis period a bit better prepared than many firms. Since 2016, Sensible has kept its digital files in the cloud, using AWS (Amazon Web Services). Sensible people can work from home with the same security, access, and capabilities as they have in the office. Therefore, the move to remote work was less cumbersome for Sensible than it may have been for others.
Returning to the office
Now, with many firms headed back to the office — at least part of the time — we are making plans to return, too. Why go back if we can work from home? If you ask most members of the Sensible team why they like their jobs, they’ll say the collegial atmosphere, the ability to work in teams, and the desire to collaborate and learn from each other. Virtual meeting platforms and the occasional socially distant picnic aside, it’s just nice to work with people.
The office we go back to will be a bit different than it was pre-pandemic. We want our team to want to come back. To adjust our office for the post-pandemic period, we’ve made some changes. Chuck Luce, Chief Compliance Officer & Associate Director of Business Operations, discussed the technological upgrades in the office that will make in-person work more attractive. “We’re adding a second video wall display to each of the conference rooms. One screen will show content, and the other, the video of the participants. In addition, we are adding a sound bar to each conference room to improve the sound quality and remove the need to ‘dial’ into web meetings.” These upgrades will improve the user experience for meeting participants in the office and for those who join remotely. He adds, “We’re outfitting the entire office with a Biamp sound masking system to add another layer of privacy and enable employees to work at their desks without distraction.”
Keeping employees and clients safe
To maintain safe distances between team members, Sensible has also introduced hoteling software that enables individuals to reserve desk space for any given day. That will also mean not every Sensible employee will work in the office every day, allowing them to choose their own hybrid schedules.
Anne Smith, Sensible’s Human Resources Generalist says, “During the pandemic, Sensible employees participated in our regular weekly meetings along with weekly “catch up” meetings. We also took advantage of nice weather by getting together for outdoor lunches. It was a nice way to stay connected.” Anne continues, “This new office scheme will allow the team to work together, keep employees safe, and respect the needs of employees who care for family in their homes, all without compromising our effectiveness.”