Returning to the Office (FAQs)
TPD formed a Return to the Office Committee and there is also a COVID Safety Officer assigned to each office. If you have questions about returning to the office, please reach out to someone on the Return to the Office Committee. If you have questions about safety procedures or supplies (PPE, cleaning supplies, etc.) within an office, please reach out to a COVID Safety Officer. At any time, you can also speak to your direct manager, department manager, or a member of Human Resources as TPD has an open-door communication policy.
Return to the Office Committee
Amy Daiute, Guido DiMartino, John Doyle, Tuan Duong, Mohamed Elghawy, Shawn Glick, Natalie Hainley (chair), Donald Jacobs, Todd Lanphear, Joseph Platt, Robert Prophet, Marty Rosen, and Christy Staudt.
COVID-19 Safety Officer by Office
AVO: Kristy Carter
BCO: Philip Wursta
CCO: Alex Meitzler
CJO: Gregory Bitsko
CPO: Joseph Janos
HBO: Jarred Neal
LVO: Robert Hoffman
PBO: Michael Mudry
PTO: Janko Mamrilla
WCO: Matthew Hammond
As restrictions are lifted across the country, TPD is welcoming employees back to all our offices, in accordance with CDC, state and local guidelines. Although you can come back to the office, you will also have the option to continue to telecommute or work remotely. We understand that the pandemic changed people’s lives and schedules significantly which is why TPD will be giving employees the option to gradually return to the office throughout the summer, should you wish to work from a TPD office. As always, there should be open communication with your manager regarding your schedule and your plans to return. Some teams might find it beneficial to come into the office on certain days of the week so they can collaborate in person again. This should be left up to the leadership on your team.
TPD has always placed work/life balance at the top of the list when it comes to employee benefits because it fosters a healthier, less stressful workplace and improves employee health and well-being while increasing productivity. TPD considers telecommuting and remote work to be viable work arrangements if the employee’s past performance and job description permit it.
The Return to Office Committee is finalizing a Telecommuting and Remote Work Policy, along with an IT Procedure that will give employees details regarding how to request a telecommuting or remote work arrangement, the eligibility requirements of such an arrangement and what equipment will be provided by IT in each scenario.
Office Safety Guidelines and Etiquette
Talk to your manager if you have concerns specific to your circumstances, such as a health condition that places you or someone in your household at high risk. Managers can then refer to Human Resources for assistance.
If I return to the office, what safety guidelines do I need to follow so I can keep myself and others safe?
- Follow the mask guidance of the CDC, state, and local governments where your office is located.
- All offices: Fully vaccinated employees are not required to wear a mask in the office unless they feel more comfortable doing so. It is required that unvaccinated employees continue to wear a mask indoors when they are within six feet of others. TPD will be following this guidance moving forward and will be relying on the honesty of our employees to determine whether they need to wear a mask.
- Stay home if you have felt sick within the last seventy-two hours or go home if you start to feel sick.
- Maintain social distancing practices in the workplace, when possible.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least twenty seconds. When soap and water are not immediately available, use hand sanitizer.
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Replace handshakes with head nods and waves.
- Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices or other work tools and equipment. If you are sharing a workspace, equipment, tools, etc., be sure to clean everything properly before and after you are done working and follow the cleaning product instructions.
- Discourage visitors and clients from coming into the office unless it is necessary.
- Be kind. This is a stressful time for everyone, and an extra bit of kindness right now can go a long way.
Unless noted, these guidelines are in place for all TPD’s offices. They will be updated as new guidance is released.
- TPD is adopting a gradual return to the office strategy. Employees are welcome back, but they still have the option to telecommute and work remotely throughout the summer if it is agreed upon between the employee and their manager.
- COVID-19 stations are located at the entrance to each office. They contain face masks, disinfecting wipes, and hand sanitizer. The Pottstown office, our most populated office, has stations at each entry door, in the kitchens, and in the mailroom. Employees can request extra PPE or cleaning supplies if needed by contacting their COVID Officer. Checking your temperature when you come into an office is no longer mandatory.
- Cleaning supplies will be available, and employees are encouraged to clean and disinfect workspaces when needed.
- Posters are displayed in the offices and on the TPD Community as reminders on how to prevent the spread of germs.
Do not report to any TPD office if you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms. If you have been in an office recently, contact your manager. If you develop symptoms while in an office, immediately contact your manager and follow CDC guidelines. Managers should contact Human Resources if either of these events occur.
As stated above, TPD is following the CDC, state, and local guidance when it comes to who needs to wear a mask. Fully vaccinated employees are not required to wear a mask in the office unless they feel more comfortable doing so. It is required that unvaccinated employees continue to wear a mask indoors when they are within six feet of others. TPD will be following this guidance moving forward and will be relying on the honesty of our employees to determine whether they need to wear a mask. Updates to this guidance will be communicated as they are released.
No. There are numerous reasons why someone may or may not be vaccinated and we should all respect the privacy of others. Also, just because someone is wearing a mask does not automatically assume that they are not vaccinated, they might have made the decision to wear a mask even though they are vaccinated.
No. The only time you need to show Human Resources documentation that you are vaccinated is if you would like to use the FFCRA leave for a vaccination reason. This is a requirement that was put in place by the Department of Labor (DOL). Please reach out if you have additional questions regarding the leave.
If you have concerns at any time about others wearing or not wearing masks, please contact Human Resources so your concerns can be addressed.
If you want a coworker to wear mask while they are in your personal workspace (office/cubicle), you can request that they do so in a respectful manner.
Yes. You can utilize the conference rooms again. However, be mindful that some employees might still need/want to call into meetings virtually so please give them the capability to do so. This should include the regular use of webcams.
TPD encourages employees to turn on their webcams during meetings. For some meetings, webcams might be required by leadership. Here are some quick tips regarding attending a meeting virtually:
Use the video option as much as possible. Turn on that camera please! The more you use your camera, the more natural it will feel. We understand that there are some exceptions but please try to turn on your camera as much as possible when you are in meetings, seminars, or interviews. Managers should also lead by example when possible.
Look into the camera. So now that you have your camera on, it is helpful to face it. Looking into the camera will give the appearance of eye contact with whoever you are talking to.
Dress for success. Wearing sweatpants all day, every day may sound appealing but if you dress professionally while working from home you will most likely feel more productive.
Stage your video area. Keep in mind that people are not just seeing you, they are also seeing whatever is behind you. Be aware of what is within view and use a virtual background if necessary.
The lighter the better. Video quality is dramatically improved with more lighting. Just make sure the light is in front of you, not behind you – being backlit makes you harder to see.
Check your audio/video before entering the meeting. Make sure you are aware of your audio and video settings before you join the meeting. Teams allows you to test your video and audio before you enter.
Stay on mute if you are not talking. Background noise can be really distracting. If you are not sharing anything, hit mute until you want to talk.
Stay focused. Though tempting, try not to focus on other screens/work while you should be engaged in the meeting and topic being discussed.
Yes. TPD will provide one webcam and one headset to employees, please reach out to Information Technology to request either one. Please keep in mind that you cannot be seen in a Teams meeting without a camera.
If I am returning to the office over the summer, do I need to bring back any of the IT equipment I borrowed from TPD?
If you are returning to the office but still plan on telecommuting throughout the summer, then you would need to bring your equipment back to the office. However, it is expected that all employees that intend to telecommute also have an adequate set up at home so they can remain productive. If needed, you can keep one monitor at home, but the IT Department needs to be notified.
If you have questions about what equipment needs to be returned or would like to talk to IT about purchasing the equipment you have, please reach out to Information Technology in advance so you will have a more seamless transition back to the office.