When possible, employees are working from home; manufacturing shifts are split to help comply with social distancing; extra measures to clean and sanitize work areas are being taken; field service continues to serve customers that are within driving distance, as the use of public transportation is restricted. But whether we are working out of our house while homeschooling young children, or going into a sparsely populated office, one thing remains the same – it’s “business as usual” in the sense that our commitment to serving the needs of our customers and growing our business has not faltered.
In addition to the professional changes we’ve adapted to in light of the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve also had to find creative ways to deal with this “new normal” in order to keep our mental, physical and emotional health in check. Here are some examples of the innovative ways De Dietrich USA employees have been coping with the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
Most of us have resorted to FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Zoom video chats to socialize and keep in touch with coworkers, family and friends. Lennis Perez, our Process Systems Product Manager, has been scheduling virtual happy hours for DDUS employees and it’s proven to be a great way for us to connect outside of work-related matters.
Kurt Lehman, our Key Account Manager who works out of his home office near St. Louis, Missouri, recently coordinated a Zoom party to celebrate his mother’s 90th birthday (and consequently had to remotely train her on how to navigate the app, which was no small feat!). There were 25 family members present from across the country and internationally, and they were even able to have a cake delivered to her.
To relieve the monotony of spending so much time at home, many of us have taken advantage of the milder weather and have enjoyed some extra time outside, planting gardens and landscaping our yards. Building projects have also been a common activity and have helped us to stay productive while relieving boredom. These ventures have ranged in size and complexity from puzzles and Lego sets to larger scale home improvement projects. Brian Warren, our Business Unit Leader for Powder Transfer and Containment Systems, recently built a new screened-in porch addition to his house (complete with TV)!
At times like these, many of us want to help others in need but aren’t sure of the best way to do so. Some of our employees have taken it upon themselves to give back to their communities in big ways. Kristine Morada, a Process Engineer in our Engineered Systems Group, started a community outreach initiative with her family to show gratitude to local healthcare professionals. Their reach has expanded over the course of the pandemic and has grown to a networking web thanks to their partnership with the nonprofit organization,CUMAC. By combining forces, their philanthropic efforts have helped small business food vendors in need of business by supplying and donating food to frontline workers at hospitals in New Jersey and New York.
If you’d like to support Kristine’s community outreach program, you can donate monetarily to https://www.cumac.org/donate or if you are local and want to donate physical goods, please contact Kristine at email@example.com and she can arrange for pick up or drop off. Receipts and donation acknowledgements are available for tax purposes for both monetary and physical donations.
We hope this article brings a message of encouragement. De Dietrich USA employees are not just coping with the challenges brought about by COVID-19; we are finding unique and productive ways to maintain our well-being, staying engaged with each other, and helping the community in this great time of need.