As August approached, CampusLogic was setting the stage and making big plans: We were ready to invite our team back into the office, and we were excited to get back to a safe and welcoming space for vaccinated employees who wanted to return. We couldn’t wait to see our co-workers again and finally meet new employees for the first time in person.
And, all at once (and once again), everything changed. New cases of the Delta variant are on the rise. The CDC changed its mask guidelines for vaccinated people, and Maricopa County saw high transmission rates. It was apparent that things wouldn’t work out as we planned or as we had hoped.
We paused our planning to decide what was next, and we started by reflecting on our values. That made our decision very easy. We would not reopen. A crucial part of culture building is fostering a strong and connected community that’s rooted in a shared value system.
And even though we had spent months planning this return, and building up excitement among the team, we decided not to return to the office. Here’s why: We are nice and take care of each other, and we do the right thing
What it means to be 'nice'
The value “We are nice and take care of each other" stands out for us right now. In many ways, this value has helped to keep us all connected during the pandemic. Whether it’s using weekly one-on-ones to see how an employee is really doing or offering mental health support as part of our benefits, we want employees to know we are here to lift them up, wherever they are.
Now more than ever, we can't waver from our values. We have to take care of each other and look out for our employees' best interests. If we prioritize our team’s health, it means we must postpone the reopening. No matter how much we wanted to go back and how many ways we looked at making that happen, we know that right now, everyone is safer and healthier at home.
Because we do the right thing
Another value that was top-of-mind in this decision was keeping our commitments and doing the right thing. Our commitment is to our employees, and we are mindful of every situation—from single parents with kids learning from home to families with kids who will be going back to school in person.
It doesn’t matter what situation our employees are in; our reopening would inevitably affect their lives outside of work.
By postponing our return to CampusLogic’s headquarters in Chandler, we keep our commitment to our employees’ safety. We know this isn’t forever, it’s just right now. And right now, keeping everyone safe at home is the right thing to do, even though we’re sad about the postponement.
Activating values for meaningful work
During a time when people are searching for employers who care about their wellbeing, talent leaders must spearhead their organizations’ values. Without these values, there is no community. And without community, there is no culture.
What we all hoped would be short-term is now approaching two years. So, in a way, this reopening felt like a celebration toward some sense of normalcy. And if there’s one thing this pandemic has shown us, it’s that we must always be ready to pivot and prepare for what’s next.
Our decision to postpone a long-awaited reunion is a reflection of what we believe in. And we know that in the long run, it’s best for our employees’ wellbeing. When our employees are healthy, our company is healthy, and our customers are better served.
It’s hard to pivot (again) and change plans. But we’ve always been, and we always will be, focused on what matters most: Our values, our team and the schools we serve.