“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable,”– William Pollard

The COVID-19 global pandemic has forced businesses and individuals to change routine processes.

We cope with social distancing by communicating via different platforms including Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. We are conscious of staying six feet apart and wearing masks and gloves. We now talk to customers through video conferences instead of site visits, giving advice the best we can from a distance. Add on the closing of schools leading many to have to teach their kids while trying to work from home.

Several of us are eager to get back to work. Many factors can influence our desire to be back on the job; our money situation, craving social interaction, & love of our profession.

And when we are finally able to go back to our workplaces, we must realize that things are going to be different at the beginning. We have flattened the curve in many areas, but there is still no vaccine or recommended treatment for COVID-19, meaning there could still be a flare-up that may be worse than the original version of this virus. Everyone must still follow the guidelines and to ensure we are keeping one another safe.

As many things have in the past, this too will pass. We will be resilient and make the proper changes needed to be safe. Mankind has learned over the years how to survive and make things better; many great inventions and advancements have come from our mistakes. We will continue to do this.

C Tek Lean Solutions is leading the way in adjusting to the COVID-19 restrictions.  Our innovative Sneeze Guards allow employees to safely work and communicate with each other. Sneeze guards are easy to move and take up minimal space.

People in the workplace, both in the office and on the floor, have always known the importance of safety. No one wants to see a co-worker get hurt. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, we shouldn’t be any different.

When we finally back to work, please make sure we are respecting others. We are living through a pandemic, and it has affected people in different ways. Many want to help and are looking for ways to do this. Others are trying to survive and keep their families safe from the invisible enemy. And some have contracted the disease and have had to fight through it.

We will push through this and find a better way to live. A better way for us to do things that are safer for all. Lean, or process improvement, has always accomplished this over the years. Lean has helped many employees, managers, stakeholders, and customers work together to provide a safer, more efficient, and higher quality work environment. Lean provides employees input into their jobs by showing them how to solve problems. Over time, as people learning how to grow through problem- solving, they make companies more robust and less fragile.

Lean takes the clutter out of a job, or business, and helps clear it up. When we declutter a workspace, we are able to notice problems before they arise. As we take care of the small problems and eliminate them, or find a way to spot them more clearly, we will be ready to take care of any large problems that may show up. This decluttering is done through a process of 5S – Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.

5S is a great place for most businesses to start, especially the standardized step. In many businesses, we do not see any standardization of processes. When there are no standards set in place, employees don’t know their starting point and will typically formulate their own way of completing tasks. This hurts the process because future employees grow frustrated when trained with tribal knowledge and no documentation.

Now more than ever, we must find ways to put standards into place because jobs will change when we return to work. How long that will last, we don’t know, but we must adjust now. If we get the standards set into place now, it will make for an effortless transition to resuming in our workplaces. Employees will be less frustrated with the barriers and their jobs will be much easier to do.

The people of this country have always pulled together in times of crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different. People have done extraordinary things with their facilities to change what they produce. Nurses and doctors have had to work longer hours to help the sick patients recover while risking contracting the virus themselves. The military has pulled together to get hospitals ships to major ports quickly, built temporary hospitals, and provided much-needed relief where needed. Furthermore, a facility in Pennsylvania with dedicated employees stayed open around the clock for 28 days to produce a medical mask. They made the proper sacrifices to help each other as Americans have always done.

We can do this with our return to work after this pandemic as well. People will learn how to succeed and make the proper changes; solve the problems that arise; and eliminate them. Look out for the person next to you, as well as yourself, and keep each other safe.