During the past few months, the AMS warehouses and work, lunchroom and classroom spaces have been transformed into ‘pandemic safe’ spaces. It has been a great effort, and one we have all been appreciative of. Those changes are outlined in our workforce safety series #1 through #6.
In this blog we will cover the work from home response to the pandemic, and the use of Zoom for meetings and communications between the office and warehouses.
There are approximately 300 employees in the Santa Clarita campus and 62 of these are stationed in the HQ office. When it became necessary to respond to the COVID crisis, decisions had to be made with regard to working from home. Employees with health conditions that made them more susceptible were the first to set up a home office, followed by others who volunteered to set up at home. Employees with no health issues, whose presence on campus was needed, stayed in the office.
Carmen Kernek, Human Resources Director, explained that in general, remote employees are grateful for the opportunity to work from home versus the alternative. “Though we have many safety protocols and methods, working remote allows the perfect ‘social distancing’ atmosphere for everyone (remote and in the office),” she said.
We understand of course that dealing with this pandemic hasn’t been easy for any one of us. Mark Fese, Director of Facilities, was one of the employees who had to transfer to a home office to protect his health. Mark said, “Zoom has been a great tool in my everyday schedule yet not as effective or powerful as a face to face conversation.” He went on to say, “I’ve always been hands on with what I do and miss being able to visually be a part of projects where I know I can add positive input, saving time and labor.”
We miss having employees like Mark on campus, as his presence at the facility is valuable. We’re confident other businesses are experiencing similar challenges. AMS does not yet have plans to return remote workers to the facility, but will do so when the dangers from COVID have passed.
Zoom conversations are also being used between the warehouse and office, and many more meetings are now taking place via Zoom. While we used to frequently have clients and prospects visit our operation for tours and routine meetings, potential clients are now given virtual tours so they don’t have to travel to our location. Almost 100% of our meetings have been moved to Zoom calls, and these calls have proven very effective to allow productive interaction.
Other warehouse safety concerns have not disappeared because of COVID 19, so in next week’s blog we will cover our ongoing warehouse safety training.