CENTRAL POINT, OR – In January 2020, Dogs for Better Lives (DBL) had four staff working and living outside of Oregon, with the majority of employees based on its headquarters campus in Southern Oregon. Now speed up to the present, and nearly seventy-five percent of the staff are working remote and/or out-of-state.
Fortunately, well before COVID-19, DBL was preparing and adapting to a workforce that was changing and evolving. Transitioning from PCs to laptops, investing in cloud-based software, working in Microsoft Office 365, utilizing video conferencing, and the creation of flex-scheduling.
At DBL, much of the energy focuses on the dogs, whether shelter or purpose-bred, their care is of the utmost importance to staff and volunteers. Throughout the pandemic, essential staff including trainers and kennel techs have been on campus, continuing to care for, train, and feed the dogs.
While the office dynamic has certainly changed over the last 14 months, staff have found other ways to stay connected with each other on campus,with others working out of state, and many more working remote. Being a Microsoft-based company, DBL has completely embracted the Teams suite, including its video conferencing (with closed captioning), messaging, file sharing, and tutorials.
“Teams is for DBL what the ‘intranet’ was in the 90s for companies, it’s a dynamic way of communicating and engaging others on my team and across departments, in meaningful conversation,” stated Development Director, Harvey Potts. “Of course, many love to emphasize with memes, emojis, and photos, to get their points across – and that works too.”
When normalcy, whatever that may look like, begins to return, a number of recently implemented best practices during the pandemic could be here to stay. Often change and challenge are good, in that it forces you to look outside the problem to find it’s solution.
“Working remotely (in Missouri) allows me to collaborate with an organization I admire. I would not have been able to offer my skills in other circumstances because of the distance,” stated digital marketing manager Lacy Priesmeyer. “My creativity is at its best in my home office, and it allows me to contribute to the success of Dogs for Better lives.”
During unprecedented times, unprecedented steps are required, while done in a thoughtful manner that puts staff and dogs first. The organization realizes that it’s far from out of this pandemic and that some of the procedures implemented most likely will continue to be a part of updated procedures moving forward indefinitely.
To learn more about DBL’s COVID-19 plan, visit here.[Read news release as PDF here]