I recently listened to a webinar ‘Reimagining Mental Wellness in the Post-Pandemic Workplace’. They had CEO’s, Therapists, Human Resource professionals, and employees speaking on the topics of Mental Wellness, Navigating the Pandemic Aftermath, and Understanding Humans at Work. What we have gone through this past year is now being called ‘Global Trauma’.
There are now changes in the protection techniques, concern of safety, how to protect ourselves as we transition back to normalcy. There is talk about what is coming up emotionally for everyone. What is in the best interest of each individual person? We need to remember that feelings are natural and always valid.
The discussion included that those coming back to the office may have a need to claim boundaries such as, ‘I am uncomfortable shaking hands’, ‘I don’t want to share items like staplers, tape dispensers’, and ‘I am uncomfortable sharing a crowded office’. We don’t have to go back to the same way things were done before. I feel confident that we can work together to make changes and accommodations that address the needs and wellness of us all.
As the country, counties, and cities around us change requirements for masks and safety protocols, in order for us to go back to some kind of ‘normal’, we need to consider what is right for our organization. Do we require vaccinations or face masks? Do office workers come back to the office or should we provide for continued virtual work?
The Leadership Team reviewed these questions and shared our options. The Leadership Team then made recommendations to the Board of Directors’ Operations Committee.
One item these teams have vetted is the subject of vaccinations. In going through this process, the Leadership Team followed by the Operations Committee have determined the best course of action would be to clearly outline our safety protocols to include the following four items for all Volunteers and Staff.
- Do a Self-Assessment before driving any clients or coming in the office (before any direct contact with clients or other volunteers/staff). A Self-Assessment includes answering whether you might have any of the Covid-19 symptoms. If you think you might, you will then need to get tested and then quarantine until you receive your test results. Should you test positive, you must quarantine as prescribed.
- Wear a mask on any vehicle when driving a client. This is mandated by the Federal Transit Administration and because these grants are how we get some funding and vehicles, we must comply. Wear a mask in the office if you have not been vaccinated when other people are in the office.
- If you have been exposed to a Covid positive person and you have not been vaccinated, you must be tested before driving another client or come into the office or quarantine for 14 days.
- If you are vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask in the office. If you are vaccinated, you do not need to be tested when exposed. We encourage all who are medically able to be vaccinated.
These protocols are meant to help our volunteers and staff feel safe working with NVC. They are also meant to enable us to continue to be a reliable service.
I would like to hear from you. What concerns do you have about coming into the office? What concerns do you have about driving clients? What can NVC do that might help you heal from this year of trauma? Let’s make some changes if they are needed. Please email me any comments, questions, or concerns.
It has really been a rough, stressful, and exhausting year. My door is open, my phone is on, my ear (and shoulder) is yours.