Click here to read Work at Home Update - Update from the President of EAW (Date: 4/19/2020)
TO: All EAW Employees
FROM: Jaime Nunez, President
DATE: April 19, 2020
SUBJECT: Work-At-Home Update
I’m communicating with everyone today to provide an update on transitioning our students to working from home, and our operations more broadly. I’ve been gratified to connect with many of you personally over the last few days as well as we navigate this time of immense change for our organization. As of today, our Education at Work operations in Utah and Arizona remain open; however, nearly 90% of our eligible students are now working from home. We continue to review options to work from home with our students that have taken a leave of absence. Timing for our remaining eligible students to receive work from home kits will be dependent on obtaining additional equipment to make work from home possible – as you might expect, there is more global demand for laptops right now than manufacturers can deliver. Our HR team will continue to coordinate with our leave-of-absence students to ensure consistent communication.
Approximately three weeks have passed since our first students began to work from home and we cannot be prouder of the results. Our clients are reporting that your work effort is appreciated, we are hitting critical metrics and demonstrating both resiliency and camaraderie. Next week the leadership team will begin extending invites to participate in virtual focus groups so we can hear directly from you how things are going and needs you have from us.
We do remain open in Utah and Arizona for the few students unable to or not yet deployed home and for our staff who are responsible for supporting our students. As previously communicated, EAW is providing critical support services as defined in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response. Specifically, Discover Financial Services and Microsoft Corporation are critical financial and information technology services, respectively. As such, you and your position are also deemed essential. Because you cannot hear it enough from us in this uncertain time, we want to ensure you have the information and flexibility you need to make the best decisions for yourselves. To reiterate:
● Flexible work policies: If you are uncomfortable coming to work, please call the attendance line as expected under normal policy. Your HR representative will follow up via phone and email to review the policies we have in place. To put a finer point: Employees with health-related concerns are not required to go to work.
Employees should continue providing proper notifications (at least one hour before scheduled start time) to the attendance hotline.
Please reach out to your supervisor in the event you are unable to report to work because of transportation issues.
● Clean workplaces: EAW has implemented stringent measures to maintain a clean and safe working environment, consistent and often exceeding U.S. Centers for Disease Control best practices. EAW regularly reviews guidelines and we continue to be in compliance. ○ Social distancing. EAW has reduced operations capacity, ensuring students are following social distancing guidelines by working at least six feet apart. ○ Shift-by-shift cleaning protocols. Between each shift, workstations are cleaned with CDC-compliant materials, preparing for the next student. ○ Access to cleaning products. All students have access to cleaning materials should they desire to clean their workspace throughout their shift personally. ○ Daily deep cleaning. At the end of each EAW workday, a professional cleaning crew enters the building, deep cleaning the entire premises using CDC guidelines. ○ Own your part. Individuals are the first line of defense and should stay home if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or any other major illness.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your supervisor, to Eric Spieser or, as some of you have, to me with your questions. I will continue sharing updates as soon as they happen.
Please note this document is for internal use only. It is intended for EAW staff and students and is not intended for clients, other internal groups or anyone outside of EAW.
FOR ALL EAW EMPLOYEES
With the continued concerns surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19), our primary focus is on your health, safety, and well-being. Like many organizations, our leadership team continues to evaluate our business continuity plan, workplace policies, and review the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) best practices. Each one of us plays an important role to ensure that we and our families are prepared for disruption and to avoid contact with and/or spread of the disease.
Living Our Mission (Update sent March 25, 2020)
With the evolving situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, our primary focus is on your health, safety, and well-being.
We’re communicating with you today to let you know we are working around the clock with our partner organizations to equip our student-workers to work remotely. The work that we collectively do on their behalf is invaluable to their customers, and we don’t take lightly the importance your EAW wages and tuition support play in helping you navigate college successfully.
Our goal in doing so is to reduce the impact of this pandemic on as many of you as possible. The process to prepare for remote work includes testing technical platforms, securing connections, and purchasing and configuring IT equipment like computers, headsets, and other needs for working at home, as well as ensuring continued compliance with government regulations. In short: it’s a massive change for all of us, in a very short period of time.
As we continue this work in earnest, we are doing all we can to ensure our centers are clean and safe, and to ensure you have the information and flexibility you need to make the best decisions for yourselves.
- Flexible work policies: If you are uncomfortable coming to work, please call the attendance line as expected under normal policy. Your HR representative will follow up via phone and email to review the policies we have in place. To put a finer point: Employees with health-related concerns are not required to go to work. Employees should continue providing proper notifications (at least one hour before scheduled start time) to the attendance hotline.
- Work from home: We have one client at about 98% work at home and are building capabilities for clients that can execute this work opportunity. We plan to move forward with our next client in pilot mode as soon as March 26. It takes several hours to configure a computer for remote work, so rather than waiting for full capacity, we will begin extending work-from-home capability in waves as equipment arrives and is set up. For those employees unable to work from home or desiring to continue work in the physical location, EAW will seek to remain open until municipal or state policies or orders require a shift in onsite operations.
Clean workplaces: EAW has implemented stringent measures to maintain a clean and safe working environment, consistent and often exceeding U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) best practices.
- Social distancing. EAW has reduced operations capacity, ensuring students are following social distancing guidelines by working at least six feet apart.
- Shift-by-shift cleaning protocols. Between each shift, workstations are cleaned with CDC-compliant materials, preparing for the next student.
- Access to cleaning products. All students have access to cleansing materials should they desire to clean their workspace throughout their shift personally.
- Daily deep cleaning. At the end of each EAW workday, a professional cleaning crew enters the building, deep cleaning the entire premises using CDC guidelines.
- Own your part. Individuals are the first line of defense and should stay home if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or any other major illness.
For programs where work at home is possible, Education at Work leadership will provide an update on our capabilities by March 30. Employees should expect to receive the information via email, via materials posted in the centers, via your immediate supervisors and via the information portal: https://assistance.edatwork.com/home/covid19FAQ
These are tough and unsettling times for everyone, and we are charting new waters as an organization to navigate these challenges. Should you have questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Eric Spieser
(VP, Human Resources) by email. Thank you for all that you do.
Client Responses to Business Planning (Update sent March 19, 2020)
There is a lot going on in the world today relative to COVID-19 and its impact both at home and at work. Our clients, like EAW, are thinking about how to maintain business operations while responding to employee needs and concerns. The purpose of this note is to bring everyone in the loop on what we know as of today:
- First, and most importantly, our clients’ are expressing their gratitude for our staff and students and the work we are doing on behalf of their customers. They understand these are uncertain times and check in with us multiple times a day.
- Together with our clients we are seeking opportunities to create work-at-home opportunities. This is a complicated process to carry out as it requires both technology and security related parameters. A few of our major clients are actively working on ways we can offer some work-at-home opportunities. We hope to announce more about this in the next 30-days.
- We are moving quickly to create more distance between students on several of our programs, which will include utilizing training and conferences rooms to spread out our work stations.
- With restaurants closing and long lines for take-out we will be bringing in more food such as doughnuts and pizza for you to enjoy.
At this time we want to thank each member of our team, staff and students. We understand that many of our students have asked to work more hours and we appreciate this support. We also understand that some students have chosen to stay home and we are accommodating this need with leave of absences. If you have any further questions or concerns related to COVID-19, please immediately contact your local Human Resources representative.
As a precaution, many of our affiliated universities are taking preventative action against the spread of the virus. While this does impact our student’s daily routine and schedule, all of our university partners remain open for business functions.
To date, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus affecting EAW or affiliate employees. As such, EAW’s on-campus operating centers will remain open at this time.
We ask that employees follow these practical steps provided below as well as the recommendations from the CDC:
Additional Company Safety Measures:
- If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please work from home or stay home and rest.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Take care of yourself and stay home when you are sick or someone you know has come down with any symptoms.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Avoid physical contact when possible with team members (ie – handshakes, high fives, etc.)
EAW is implementing a cleaning protocol that goes above and beyond the CDC guidelines, including high touch point areas like door handles, restrooms, surface areas, etc. Areas cleaned at least daily include:
- All door handles in shared areas
- All light switches in shared areas
- All kitchen appliance handles, faucets and manual soap dispensers
- All elevator buttons
- All lobby waiting area furniture
- All conference and huddle room tables and phones
- All aspects in the restrooms
We have also placed signs in restrooms, reminding people of the importance of correct handwashing technique in controlling the spread of germs.
As an organization, we are following the guidance from CDC travel advisories
and are restricting travel to tier 2-3 locations impacted by a coronavirus.
Currently, EAW is not restricting domestic travel. Employees with upcoming trips should consult the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
for up-to-date information. Per policy, all travel must be approved by Jaime Nunez, President.
Please take advantage of our free and confidential employee support program administered through: http://www.ibhworklife.com/
Employees are encouraged to reach out to our provider in the event you need additional emotional and mental well-being assistance.
This is a rapidly developing situation so as conference organizers, school systems, government agencies and other organizations respond to this evolving situation, please understand we may update our approach as well. When in doubt, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Eric Spieser, VP of Human Resources.
For additional information, please follow most up to date guidance from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if my University is closed?
Several of our university partners have made the decision to transition all in-person classes to online or remote classes. While this does impact our student’s daily routine and schedule, all of our university partners remain open for business functions.
When can I return to work if I’m impacted?
In the unfortunate event that you contract the virus, you will not be allowed to return to the worksite until receiving clearance in writing from a medical professional.
Who do I notify if I am experiencing symptoms?
If you believe you may have symptoms, please contact your health care provider immediately.
Following guidance from the Center of Disease Control, if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please work from home or stay home and rest.
Will I be subject to attendance disciplinary action?
In accordance with company policy, In the event of absence from an assigned work schedule, employees are required to report their absence to EAW. When reporting an absence, the employee must telephone the attendance hotline associated with their operations center a minimum of (1) hour in advance of their scheduled start time. If you are calling out for health related reasons, you may be directed to speak to a member of the Human Resources team to ensure proper preventive measure are being taken by all parties
What Happens to my Tuition Assistance accrual if I miss work due to illness?
If you miss several shifts due to an illness, the event will be counted as a single occurrence. The monthly work hour requirement (79.2 monthly avg.) may be adversely impacted depending on the length of absence.
Can I work remotely?
At this time, we don’t have work from home capabilities on any of our client programs. We will continue following guidance as mandated by the CDC and state government.
Is the company restricting travel for non-business purpose?
As an organization, we are following the guidance from CDC travel advisories and are restricting travel to tier 2-3 locations impacted by the coronavirus. Currently, EAW is not restricting domestic travel. Employees with upcoming trips should consult the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for up-to-date information.
What if my roommate is diagnosed with COVID-19?
If you have been exposed to someone who has contracted the virus, you are expected to remain at home until you receive clearance in writing from a medical professional. When reporting an absence, you must telephone the attendance hotline associated with your location a minimum of (1) hour in advance of their scheduled start time. Depending on circumstances, you may be directed to speak to a member of the Human Resources team. Other procedures may apply for those working at an EAW client site.
What If I don’t come to work for fear of exposure? Can I stay at home for fear of exposure?
All employees are expected to work as normal. We are in continual communication with our university partners and business clients about our operational procedures.
What is EAW doing to prevent exposure in the work place?
EAW will be performing additional daily cleaning procedures at each site, which are focused on “high touch” areas like table tops, work surfaces, door knobs, and light switches.
What can I do to help?
Every program location has been equipped with sanitary wipes (Sani-Wipes), which are anti-viral cleaning cloths. We ask that everyone use the Sani-Wipes to wipe down the keyboard, mouse and headset each day at the beginning of each shift. Dispose of the wipes by placing them in the trash when finished.
Where can I find the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 as it pertains to EAW?
We encourage all students to remain up-to-date on EAW communication at one of the following sites:
Updated March 13, 2020