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What Dow has learned working from home – Midland Daily News

Firm awarded European recognition for return to work plan


With pandemic numbers nonetheless on the rise, staff throughout the nation proceed to work remotely, together with Dow workplace staff.

Mary Beth Heydrick, vice chairman of Operations, Efficiency Supplies & Coatings and vice chairman of Operations for Dow North America, stated Dow did begin phasing staff again in shifts into the workplace earlier this 12 months, however have since reversed that measure. So, anybody who will not be thought of important to operations and who has extra of an workplace job, is working remotely.

Nevertheless, of Dow’s about 18,00zero North American staff, which incorporates Canada, about 10,00zero of them proceed engaged on website at manufacturing vegetation. These staff have been deemed important to operations, as Dow makes a plethora of merchandise that improve security and high quality of life, similar to private safety tools, hand sanitizer ingredients and sterile medical tools.

One-size-fits-all method will not be superb

Whereas the worldwide firm does have some consistencies in administration and measures that apply to all staff, similar to sporting face coverings, President for Dow North America Louis Vega stated they’ve totally different insurance policies utilized to totally different websites, because it pertains to the pandemic.

“We work with the native website leaders to know the info; perceive the hospitalization and the power of the healthcare system to deal with individuals if they fall ill; we have a look at, like I stated, these commuter-type patterns and methods individuals get to work, after which we give you a plan per website,” he stated.

Vega, who can also be Dow’s vice chairman of presidency affairs and advocacy for North America, famous restrictions and mandates differ state to state and nation to nation, so Dow’s insurance policies differ as nicely.

“Firms wish to have (a) broad brush, you recognize, applicable-to-all-employee type of insurance policies and what the pandemic has actually pushed dwelling, is how particular it’s to every location,” he stated.

Writing the playbook for returning to work

Shortly after the pandemic hit America, Dow printed its Return to Workplace playbook, which is a coordinated plan to soundly information staff and contractors again to the office. The common useful resource information has been shared internally and externally and has already gained worldwide recognition.

In October, the playbook was awarded a European Responsible Care Award for shielding the office and folks class.

Vega and Heydrick each head a disaster administration group for Dow, and Vega stated Dow has provided steering and shared data amid the pandemic to a variety of teams and stakeholders together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce group, the Nationwide Affiliation of Producers, in addition to states similar to New York, Louisiana Texas and extra.

“We showcased this product and our expertise in that conventional, typical Dow method – to not achieve recognition, however to share our learnings,” Vega stated.

Sharing new-found data with others

Dow additionally did this with their face shields, which they publicly shared the design of in order that different producers might copy and produce.

“We put that out on the web for anybody to repeat and paste as a result of it wasn’t about creating wealth it was about safeguarding individuals,” Vega stated. “And we now have some superb brains within the firm who got here up with an modern, low-cost, simple technique to put collectively the face shields, so we made that public.”

Along with the playbook, Dow has provided video convention segments on a variety of matters, to foster the well being and wellbeing of staff whereas they make money working from home. Vega stated a few of the segments centered on social justice, which has been a scorching nationwide subject this 12 months, in addition to data on find out how to arrange an ergonomic dwelling workplace.

Heydrick stated in addition they have hosted a variety of city corridor occasions, together with one for Dow family and friends through which they’d a health care provider converse and reply questions in regards to the pandemic. Different focus areas for Dow amid the pandemic have been psychological well being, providing flexibility for workers, and having the Dow medical group accessible to reply questions staff have.

A silver lining

Heydrick stated one silver lining via the method has been improved company-wide communication. An inner worker survey confirmed an enchancment in how individuals felt about their data of what’s occurring within the firm.

“Folks really feel higher knowledgeable now as a result of COVID has pressured us to do these extra frequent communications with staff and we’re utilizing that kind now to get extra data out, which may not even particularly be COVID associated, however extra in regards to the enterprise and the way we’re doing,” she stated. “So, I feel individuals appreciated that.”

Vega echoed her ideas about staff: “They need leaders; they need the corporate to listen to that issues are totally different for them they usually simply want slightly reassurance that we’re all in it collectively.”

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