By Roz Allyson, CPA, MA, Managing Partner
The past year has brought about many changes in our work and personal lives. One of the biggest changes was the quick move to working remotely. At Mahoney, we were well positioned to have our team members work from home very quickly as they all had the technology and tools to do so. As time has gone on during the pandemic, we have limited the number of team members in the office at any given time and made sure we abide by the masking and distancing protocols. Our coaches are checking in with their coachees weekly. We have stressed that communication is key!
Our work has become remote as well. Our office is still closed to clients and visitors. We encourage electronic delivery of our work products. While it was a bit of an adjustment, we have adapted well to working with our clients remotely and our practice has continued without much interruption in our client service. We began using Microsoft Teams as our primary communication method, both internally and externally, and switched our phone system to go through Teams so that our Team members can be reached outside the office without having to use their personal phones.
When the pandemic began, we quickly recognized that returning to normal would never look the same. With that realization, we hired a consultant to work with us to implement a Flexible Work plan. Our intention was that Flexible Work would become part of our culture, even after the pandemic. As part of that process, we surveyed our Team members a couple times to understand where they were comfortable working during COVID and where they saw themselves working after COVID. While we were outgrowing our space and considering adding additional space right before COVID, we have now implemented hoteling for those who want to work the majority of their time at home.
It has been challenging to maintain our culture during this time. We have tried some new things to address that as well. We have implemented monthly Firm meetings on Teams to keep everyone up to speed on what is happening at the Firm. We have worked to maintain our close culture by having outdoor events, like Trunk or Treating for Halloween, food trucks for a fall get together and for our recent April 15th party. While it isn’t the same, we hope our Team members continue to feel close and connected.
As vaccines become more readily available, “Where will people work?” has become a common question. Mahoney has always been about flexibility. While we think it will be important to have our Team members in the office at least one day each week after COVID, we welcome their ability to choose where and when they work for the remainder of the week. Of course, there are always considerations about the particular job and the Team Member’s and department’s work style, making sure that Flexible Work is working for all involved.
Our profession requires that we continually learn and grow as new rules, regulations and circumstances present themselves. We are striving to make the best of these uncertain times, and we wish to do the same for our clients and colleagues.