As our country reopens, so do Schaefer’s offices. With the health + wellbeing of our team members our top priority, Schaefer has adopted a phased approach to returning to the office. Our phases were developed in order to adapt to the latest information + resources following local, state + federal guidelines.

May 31, 2022 | Phase IV

In the two years since beginning our return to our offices, the world experienced pandemic setbacks that halted progress on our phased approach back to our offices. Based on current vaccine accessibility + lower case counts, we feel confident in entering our fourth + final phase.

New for Phase IV:

  • All restrictions lifted
  • All team members local to one of our offices are to return at a minimum number of days according to Schaefer’s Flexible Work Arrangements Policy

We continue to:

  • Monitor federal, state + local guidelines
  • Provide + promote the frequent use of hand washing, hand sanitizer + cleaning supplies when touching shared surfaces + equipment

As an essential services firm, our offices never closed, even at the height of the pandemic. However, most of our people were either encouraged or chose to work remotely in some capacity over the past two years. We learned a lot about the smart initiatives we had completed prior to March 2020 that made our transition to remote mostly seamless, and about what our people + future talent would expect once the world reopened. The pandemic forced two adaptations that our firm has been pleased to prove successful and a good fit for our people.

Rolling out a flexible work arrangements plan

We believe in collaborative + creative designs, and that there’s value in achieving them together, brainstorming design solutions in a huddle room. We believe in our people + culture as our differentiators, and that there’s value in interacting together, playing an old school game of ping pong.

We can’t wait to see our people back in our offices again.

We also realize that some of those current + future people will want to work a hybrid model moving forward. Now, every team member has the opportunity to work a hybrid in-office/remote schedule.

Hiring permanently remote team members

Prior to March 2020, we had a small contingent of remote workers due to very specific opportunities; recruiting remote workers was not a main part of our business plan. As the pandemic continued and we successfully collaborated as a workforce from home, we revisited hiring permanently remote team members. Today, we’re happy to have 12 remote team members, and are always looking for incredible people to join our team.

Maintaining an inclusive culture regardless of office location, or lack thereof, is a goal that our leadership team is very cognizant. Some successes have been video communication for informal + formal meetings, producing a bi-monthly e-newsletter made up of entirely team member-submitted off-the-clock content, informal video happy hours + lunches amongst our remote team members, and inclusion + leadership in firm planning + initiatives. We continue to listen to feedback and gain inspiration from others in how to maintain our culture as we grow + adapt with our people in mind.

June 1, 2021 | Phase III

New for Phase III:

  • No longer require a daily wellness screening prior to entering our offices
  • No restrictions on café usage or equipment
  • Office attendance following travel mirror new CDC guidelines – if not vaccinated, self-quarantine for seven days (with negative test) or 10 days (without test) and self-monitor for symptoms

We continue to:

  • Require masks when moving about the office
  • Require masks in closed meeting spaces where social distancing cannot be achieved
  • Provide + promote the frequent use of hand washing, hand sanitizer + cleaning supplies when touching shared surfaces + equipment
  • Encourage social distancing

June 29, 2020 | Phase II

New for Phase II:
Welcome guests back into our offices with direction to follow the same protocols we expect of ourselves

We continue to:

  • Require masks
  • Require a wellness check including a temperature log to be completed prior to entering the office
  • Post maximum capacities for meeting + open collaboration spaces
  • Label a one-way path where feasible
  • Provide + promote the frequent use of hand washing, hand sanitizer + cleaning supplies when touching shared surfaces + equipment
  • Place six ft markers from high traffic equipment
  • Use a touch-free coffee machine
  • Set best practices to bring shelf-stable food to discourage refrigerator + microwave use
  • Discourage shared food
  • Close ping pong tables, dart boards + other shared recreational activities

June 8, 2020 | Phase I begins

While we echoed local recommendations to continue to work remotely if possible, we reopened our offices inviting team members to return by their choice (while following maximum capacity guidelines). We shared our new guidelines in advance so that only those willing + able to oblige would opt to return. During this first phase, we have:

  • Required a wellness check including a temperature log to be completed prior to entering the office
  • Mandated masks at all times; two reusable masks per person have been provided
  • Posted maximum capacities for meeting + open collaboration spaces; virtual meetings will start automatically
  • Labeled a one-way path where feasible
  • Provided + promoted the frequent use of hand washing, hand sanitizer + cleaning supplies when touching shared surfaces + equipment
  • Placed six ft markers from high traffic equipment
  • Replaced our touch screen coffee machine with a touch-free product
  • Set best practices to bring shelf-stable food to discourage refrigerator + microwave use
  • Discouraged shared food (a challenge when donuts run deep within our culture)
  • Closed ping pong tables, dart boards + other shared recreational activities
  • Asked that no guests enter our offices

While our team transitions back, clients + partners should expect no changes in our ability to provide quality engineering designs in a timely + collaborative manner. We have the technology available to effectively connect us.

As always, please reach out to us with any questions you may have, with our local phone numbers available on our contact page.

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