SALT LAKE CITY — In the 36 weeks since Overstock.com has been working from residence, CEO Jonathan Johnson stated he is solely been into the office 4 instances — and he is in no rush to return full time anytime quickly.
“We’re not putting any pressure,” Johnson stated, stressing the significance of worker security and satisfaction. “I think it’s important that businesses keep in mind their employees’ safety first, and pushing people to go back too soon is not going to help us.”
Utah-based tech firm Domo was one in all the first companies in Silicon Slopes to pull the set off on permitting workers to work remotely earlier than later requiring workers to work from residence throughout the pandemic, in accordance to the firm’s head of human assets, Ray Ball.
Back then, most individuals thought working from residence would final for just a few weeks and issues would get again to regular, Ball stated.
“I think for a lot of people, we thought it would be a four- to six-week kind of shutdown and then we’d all be back to normal again and back to working in the office,” Ball stated.
Now, eight months later, that is hardly been the case.
“So, we started thinking about how we can reopen our offices in a safe way,” Ball stated.
As COVID-19 instances proceed to surge in Utah, with 3,701 new instances and 9 deaths reported Wednesday, it does not appear to be issues shall be returning to regular anytime quickly.
However, with information of a vaccine am Horizont, and dosages presumably obtainable to the public by the spring, there’s a gentle at finish of the tunnel.
So, how are these companies planning their post-pandemic work life?
Both Domo and Overstock.com emphasised nothing is absolutely set in stone but, however they are taking a look at choices regularly.
About two months in the past, Overstock.com gave workers the possibility to return to the office in the event that they needed to.
Of the about 1,500 Utah workers, Johnson estimated about 30-35 workers go to work in the 280,000 sq. ft constructing day by day, on common.
Domo allowed workers again in the office in July. About 15-20 of its 500 workers members in Utah use the office day by day, on common.
“We haven’t seen a huge adoption of that,” Ball stated. “I think most people feel more comfortable working from home right now.”
Both companies have carried out intensive security and well being measures for these selecting to work in the office — like mask-wearing, hand-sanitization stations, distancing protocol and temperature checks.
At Domo, workers selecting to work in the office fill out a day by day questionnaire on the firm’s Safe Worker App, asking in the event that they’ve felt symptomatic or if they have been uncovered to COVID-19.
According to a latest Overstock.com firm survey, 52% of workers stated they might be completely happy to work from residence eternally and 42% stated they want to see a mixture of working from residence and going again to the office.
With 94% of workers saying they are serious about working from residence at some degree going ahead, Johnson stated they are exploring a number of completely different choices when the time comes to return to the office.
“We’ve not made a decision, what that will look like post-pandemic, but that desire will certainly be a factor,” he stated.
The firm can also be taking a look at coming again in a staggered strategy, alternating workers between working from residence and working in the office just a few days every week.
Before any plans are made particular, workers shall be given at the very least six weeks discover — plus, Overstock.com has already determined they will not return to the office anytime earlier than July 1 and presumably past that.
“We think it’s better for keeping employees safe to keep working from home,” Johnson stated.
For Domo workers, the numbers weren’t as excessive. Just 35% of workers stated they loved working from residence, with 25% saying they weren’t essentially having fun with it and 40% passive to the scenario, Ball stated.
A vaccine has at all times been a big a part of Domo’s plan for returning to the office, Ball stated.
“It would definitely be around the timing of when a vaccine is not just available, but widely available,” Ball stated. “We certainly wouldn’t have any type of expectations placed on employees to return until the vaccine is widely available.”
In May, Domo CEO Josh James was the just one out of the different Utah-based tech companies interviewed by KSL.com to say working from residence wouldn’t be an possibility when issues return to regular.
“No, but the option does provide more flexibility for employees to schedule potentially longer vacations or getaways around the holiday season and summer vacation,” James stated, when requested if he would give the possibility of working from residence post-pandemic. “So that is an option/application we’ll look at more closely.”
Now, months later, Ball stated a call hasn’t actually been made.
“It’s one that we’re continuing to discuss, to tell you the truth,” he stated. “I don’t think we’ve landed necessarily on a ‘this is how it will be as soon as the data is decided that we’re trying to work and everyone must comply.'”
“We haven’t gotten to the point to make those decisions yet,” he continued. “But for now, obviously, we embrace remote work. I don’t think it’s necessarily what we want to see forever.”
The firm treasures its office tradition, Ball stated.
“We think that there’s a lot of goodness that comes from being in the office,” he defined. “There’s a lot of goodness that comes from working remotely as well.”
Ultimately, Domo will work with people to work out the greatest answer and work with their distinctive wants when the time comes, Ball stated.
Unlike Overstock.com, Domo hasn’t set a date in the future saying they completely will not return earlier than then. Ball stated they needed to keep away from setting a stake in the floor that may probably have to be moved time and again.
“For now, we’re just saying, ‘work from home, stay safe, we care about you, we want your well-being to be first and foremost in your minds, and in our minds as well,'” Ball stated. “And as we get closer to that widely available vaccine being there, then we can we can start talking about a date come back.”
When that point does come, Ball stated workers shall be given affordable discover.
“I don’t think we’d spring it on them and tell them to come back the next day or anything like that,” Ball stated. “Certainly we would give notice.”
Johnson stated Overstock.com has accomplished nicely in the pandemic, reporting elevated gross sales income in its second and third quarters.
“Thankfully, our business has been one that’s been able to excel and do really well working from home,” he stated.
In April, Domo laid off 10% of its workforce, citing the pandemic-induced financial disaster. After the firm braced itself for monetary pressure, it ended up seeing good earnings in its first two quarters, Ball stated. While layoffs have been mandatory in accordance to the firm, James was working to assist workers discover different jobs an der Zeit.
Since the pandemic modified how issues function, Johnson has targeted on three important issues: preserve workers secure, proceed enterprise, and stop the unfold of the novel coronavirus.
As a web based retailer, Johnson stated his firm’s enterprise mannequin has helped restrict unfold in different methods, as nicely, since folks can buy furnishings with out having to go away their properties.
Both companies have additionally seen a really low variety of COVID-19 instances inside their workforce that they know of; workers who are working from residence are not required to disclose a optimistic take a look at outcome, for privateness causes.
While people throughout the nation are adjusting to long-term distant work, not everybody has been so fortunate. Millions throughout the nation have misplaced their jobs, with new unemployment claims rising 13.7% in Utah final week.
Johnson stated Overstock.com has employed plenty of new workers since the pandemic started.
“We’ve actually taken advantage of this time to find a lot of great talent, particularly in industries that were negatively impacted by COVID,” he stated. “We’ve hired some great analytics, technical people from the travel industry, from hospitality — industries that basically shut down.”
Ball stated Domo has made just a few new hires, primarily to change people who’ve since left the firm. The onboarding course of for each companies has been fully distant.
During eight months of distant working, Overstock.com has realized communication and adaptability are key.
With frequent Zoom conferences, workers have been ready to join face to face, and pets and younger youngsters have inevitably made their manner into the body occasionally — one thing Johnson encourages.
“I see people on there with dogs on their laps and kids in the background, and that’s fine,” he stated. “Frankly, we encourage that. We want to be really flexible and help people stay engaged.”