Creating a “New Normal” in our Tampa Bay Office

How our Accounting teams are transitioning back to the office in St Petersburg, FL and creating new procedures for keeping staff safe.

After almost two months of working remotely, our team at SBF in St Pete, Florida misses seeing each other and meeting with clients in person. As covered in the Tampa Bay Times story about remote work in the wake of the pandemic, we are taking a slow and cautious approach to workplace re-entry.

We are forming a task force to develop new or updated processes for continuing to help our clients remotely, while creating a plan for some of our staff to return to the office on a voluntary basis.

Here, we are sharing some of the details from the plan in case it is helpful for other Florida businesses similar to SBF.

We are initially inviting groups of no more than 5 people to return in phases. This week, our first group of 5 started back in the office in addition to the core team of 5 administrative staff who have been there all along. These groups were not chosen at random – the first group invited back were composed of staff who will benefit most from the training opportunities and technology resources in the office.

It is important to note that the return to the office is on a voluntary basis: It is up to each employee to decide whether to return or to continue working remotely.

We will also continue to implement extra cleaning measures such as regularly sanitizing door handles and items in common areas. We have plenty of soap, sanitizer, and disinfectants for all to use freely.

For those who choose to come into the office, here are new “norms” we’re asking them to follow:

  • Immediate communication to administration if you are not feeling well or have been exposed to someone not feeling well (remain home until further notice)
  • Social distancing while in the office (respect your coworkers’ space)
  • Try to stay within your work area
  • Use proper handwashing technique
  • Wear a mask (optional)
  • Continue to use safe social distancing and protective practices outside the office
  • If possible, consider working a few days in the office and other days from home (until we are back in the office 100% of the time)

While some of our staff are transitioning back to the office, we realize we are a long way from going back to “normal.” Most of our staff will continue working from home, and our IT team continues to work hard on our digital security.

We use high-level security software on all computers (including individual setups at home) and the most advanced hardware to ensure that data is secure on our servers. We require each team member to be trained regularly using KnowBe4’s digital security resources.

We look forward to the day when it’s safe for all of us to be together again, serving clients in the office. Until then, we will continue to spend time together on Zoom, share the latest information and resources on our website, and advise our clients extensively over the phone and via email.

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