BRAZOS VALLEY, TX — You're probably one of the thousands of Americans headed back to the office after spending more than a year working from home. And it's no doubt that it's going to be an adjustment.
Many employers were faced with the challenge of keeping their businesses open. And as their productivity model changed, so did their workers.
Voices for Children CASA in the Brazos Valley was one of the organizations forced to adapt during the pandemic. In-person court appearances moved to online and follow up meetings with foster families also followed suit. Kimberly Martinez the director of Voices for Children explained, there was also an increasing demand for children and families who were coming into the foster care system.
“We had a real steep learning curve at the same time we had many... Many children who were being removed from their homes because their homes were no longer deemed safe for them,” said Kimberly Martinez, director for Voices for Children CASA Brazos Valley.
She added. “There have been some really good things though that we have found that has come out of not only working virtually but the pandemic forced us to find new ways to do old work,”
The child welfare service industry and families involved have benefited from some of these changes. According to Martinez more parents were able to attend virtual hearings compared to those in person.
Out of the seven counties, CASA serves three so far have returned to in-person hearings. The smaller counties will follow suit while Brazos County may possibly adapt virtual hearings permanently.
Another local organization says it's trying to keep some of the perks for its employees permanently as well.
With restrictions easing up, some companies are still choosing to stick with some aspects of the work-from-home approach.
From new technology to stronger devices and organized meetings. Some businesses are praising the work from home model for saving their business and even improving morale.
Habitat for Humanity was one of the millions to utilize zoom for work meetings. They also added a device known as an owl to their conference room to assist in distancing protocols while collaborating.
”Zoom is learning how to do that learning how to function with that how to incorporate that into a lot of the things that we’re doing. It’s not conference calls anymore now it’s zoom meetings,” said Carl Orozco, director of development for Bryan-College Station Habitat for Humanity.
He explained. “The most important thing is that they communicate that we know what they’re doing where they are and what they're working on,”
His employees were working from home for a short 6 months when the pandemic first hit. Once they returned to the office, they adopted many of those adaptations creating a flexible schedule for employees to work from home when needed.
Director of development Carl Orozco expressed his willingness to be flexible with employees as long as they are communicating clearly their daily goals.
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