Back to the Office: Local businesses adapt to life at the office during a pandemic

Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 4:33 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - One week at a time may be the new moto for businesses trying to figure out how to stay open and still keep customers and employees safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues on. That’s the approach Ingrid Klinkhart, a partner at marketing and public relations firm Yuit Communications, has been taking.

“We are keeping a close eye as a business on what’s happening in the community, and what the case numbers are,” Klinkhart said.

She added that the company has had to pivot more than once since the pandemic began.

In March 2020, Yuit employees left the office to work remotely from home. Nearly a year later, they returned to work in a new building downtown that has more space to spread out. Klinkhart says it’s worked well to allow people to work together but still stay socially distant, although recently, they decided to spread out even more.

“We were collaborating in our conference room and that was great, to be able to do our morning traffic all together and bounce ideas off of each other again,” Klinkhart said. “In the last couple weeks with numbers increasing, we have gone back to, we are still in the office, but we are taking our meetings remotely, virtually.”

The company has instituted other policies designed to keep employees safe, including wearing masks in common spaces and requiring a negative COVID-19 test after any travel. Klinkhart said Yuit employees are also fully vaccinated.

“We are all vaccinated, every single one of our employees,” she said. “And that was not because we required it, it was because they wanted to be vaccinated and be safe.”

Klinkhart called keeping employees safe her number one priority, pointing out that it’s good for business too.

“We want to keep our economy moving forward and the best way to do that is with healthy people,” she said.

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