By Roz Allyson, CPA, Managing Partner
It has been over 2 years since we sent everyone home to work due to COVID. I remember that day so clearly, as it was a very abrupt decision. Fortunately, our IT department had us well prepared to work remotely and the transition was basically seamless. But how has our office changed in the past two years?
We quickly realized that remote work was here to stay and implemented remote work policies as part of our ongoing business model. We now have a blended work environment with about 35 percent of our team members in the office on any given day. We instituted a hoteling system so everyone always has a workstation or office space available to them when they come into the office.
While we initially performed all of our work remotely, we now have team members working in client offices. Much of this is determined by the preferences of our clients. For example, our Assurance Team is taking a blended approach to most audits, whereby they do more of the work in our office and then go to the client for a few days to get needed information and perform some audit procedures.
Early on, we switched our phones over to Teams so that our team members don’t need to have a separate phone or use their cell phone to make calls when working remotely. We now are regular uses of Teams all day long! Our tax practice has transitioned to mostly paperless and has new technology and software to assist with this. The entire office has gone paperless for end product as much as possible.
In order to keep our team connected, we have implemented monthly all firm meetings and weekly coach check-ins with their coachees. We initially held many Firm events outside such as food trucks, trunk or treating, and had a magician online. We are now holding some in person group activities, such as bowling, Saturday lunches during busy season, and we had our April 15 party at a bar this year!
Our various departments have been meeting in person to build connections with each other. Some of these events included the Tax team’s recent outing to Whirly ball. The Assurance Team went to Game Show Battle Rooms this spring. A good majority of The Real Estate Solutions Team attended the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) 2022 Housing Credit Connect Event in Chicago, Illinois this past June. The Business Solutions Team had lunch at Boca Chica to gather and welcome a new summer intern.
We instituted summer “Fun Clubs” so employees can meet for social interaction. Groups include Pickleball, Running/Walking, Wine Tasting, Trivia, Foodie/Lunch and new this year Video Game Club. We encourage the clubs to gather a couple times a month to connect and get to know more about each other.
These are just a few of the changes our firm has seen in the past couple of years. As we evolve in this ever-changing environment, we continue to strive to be a strong resource and partner to our clients, community, and people.