Companies across the U.S. are leveraging tools and resources that will help implement a safe return to work for employees. As the workplace manager at Criteo, a global technology company, Rachel Allred has been at the front lines in helping her team and company create a plan for moving forward. In her role overseeing daily operations of the Chicago, Toronto, and New York offices, Allred manages career planning, office logistics, budgeting, and facilities operations. She also works alongside the Legal, IT, and People team to create and foster a vibrant, exciting culture at Criteo.
As Criteo prepares a comprehensive return to work plan for its 2,700 employees globally, we interviewed Allred for insight into her role in helping the offices reopen and what new changes are on the horizon.
What is the biggest challenge right now?
Maintaining a sense of community for employees and building a workplace culture remotely is a huge undertaking. It’s tough to encourage employee engagement while everyone is working from home especially as the COVID-19 situation evolves and changes every day. We have had to work really hard to adapt quickly and find creative ways to combat zoom fatigue by creating conversations/challenges/happy hours and virtual events to help keep the Criteo spirit alive. You can read more about some of these activities here.
How has your company reacted to COVID-19? Will remote work be an option for the long-term?
We have been closely monitoring the state of the coronavirus and its impact on Criteo since the very beginning, and the safety of employees has remained the top priority. Therefore, all Criteos have been asked to work from home and will continue to do so for the time being. Thankfully, we have set up clear processes throughout our offices in the world to make sure that systems are in place to ensure employees are equipped with the necessary infrastructure to work remotely. No long-term decisions have been taken on this, however, we are working hard behind the scenes on what the future plan will be.
What is your company doing to prepare to return to work?
We have a cross-functional team with senior representatives from various teams across the organization partnering closely on a number of work streams to prepare to return to offices when it is safe to do so. I am working directly with our People team and our building manager so that we’re ready to take action when it’s time to reopen the office. We are working to find and create new standards for working remotely now and what the future of working in the office may look like. We have a company steer-co with leaders from various departments leading the charge on making the major decisions for the office during this time.
It has been a priority to ensure that all voices are being accounted for and incorporated into the decisions that are made so we recently sent out a company-wide survey to get a better understanding of the needs of our employees at this time. My team’s top priorities have always been employee experience and wellness, and we are passionate about continuing to promote our inclusive, exciting and fun culture through our initiatives for the workplace during this “new normal.