Dear All Staff,
It has been more than a year since the coronavirus pandemic caused Apex Co. to close our office doors and institute a new work-from-home policy. Now, with vaccinations on the rise and cases declining across many parts of the country, we are preparing, once again, to return to the workplace environment.
We recognize this past year has been difficult for many and even described by some scholars as a “dumpster fire.” That is why our firm has taken the initiative to make several improvements throughout our office to ensure we’re supporting our employee’s physical and mental health as we continue to deal with the fallout of these past 13+ months and an uncertain transitional period.
As always, Apex Co. values the voice of every employee. As such, we relied heavily on data from our most recent employee survey to shape these improvements.
Sanitation and Hygiene Products
In our survey, 99% of employees said they would only be comfortable returning to the office if there were additional hygiene measures in place. We hear you. We will be placing hand sanitizer in multiple locations around the building, providing disposable masks for those who need them, and posting posters that promote best hygiene practices.
Social Distancing Measures
85% of those surveyed reported they would also like to see some form of social distancing when we return to the office. To accommodate, we will be distancing desks, limiting conference room capacity, and posting clear signage reminding employees to stay at six feet apart in common spaces.
70% of employees also reported participating in, during this past year, a daily ritual of “crying my pretty little eyes out.” In response, we will be introducing a series of sound-proof crying pods on each floor. These pods are the ideal spot for employees to retreat as they contemplate these recent months of senseless sickness and death, political unrest, and racial injustice—all without disturbing others, spreading germs, or lowering office morale.
Primal Scream Mufflers
In our survey, we asked the open-ended question, “What would make your return to the office more comfortable?” and four employees responded, “Primal Scream Mufflers.” While we had never heard of Primal Scream Mufflers, we decided to look into them and think they sound like a great idea. Much like a mask one would wear to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but made out of corrugated yak fibers, these human sordines will allow employees to vent all of their frustrations over endless police shootings, the insurrection at the Capitol, their Uncle Randy’s opinion on vaccines, and how their boss just called them Justine when their name is Jennifer. All through a banshee-like wail that can’t be heard on the other end of the Zoom call.
Tuesday Nihilist Club
Our survey also revealed that 55% of employees now feel that, after this past year, “life is meaningless and existence is futile.” For this reason, we will be introducing Tuesday Nihilist Club. Similar to Monday Run Club and Thursday Book Club, Tuesday Nihilist Club will offer an opportunity for like-minded employees to come together and bond over an interest they share outside of the workplace. Club members will discuss questions such as “Are there no genuine moral truths or values anymore?” “Has 2020 precipitated the collapse of society?” and “If Fred stole my Fruit on the Bottom Blackberry Chobani from the second-floor fridge, but Chobani, blackberries, fridges, and the second floor don’t actually exist and are just artificial constructs fabricated by the established social order, should I still report Fred to HR?”
Swarm of Robots That Massage Backs and Recite Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes
As part of our survey, we also asked employees to rate, on a scale of 1-5, “After this year of working from your IKEA couch, how fucked up is your back?” And also, “After this year, how many Eleanor Roosevelt quotes do you read just to get through the day?” The average answer to both questions was “5” — “a fuck ton.” In response, we will be introducing a swarm of Eleanor “Roose-bots” (the marketing department is still working on an official name) that will massage employee backs while repeating inspirational Eleanor Roosevelt quotes such as, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,” and “Suck it up you ingrate and get back to your timesheets.” This swarm will be released each day during lunch, but employees are also encouraged to book private sessions.
Quarterly All-Staff Meeting & Pagan Fire Ritual
The last part of our survey included a box for additional comments. While we normally don’t pay attention to these, in this case, they revealed some interesting insight. For one, multiple employees reported finding solace during this past year in “dancing wildly around open flames,” “reconnecting with my Wiccan spirit through the chanting of incantations and the occult,” or simply in “burning shit.” We also had a few employees request, “Please, I beg of you. I will do anything if you don’t ever make me go back to an in-person all-staff meeting.” Taken together, we’ve decided that, to boost employee sentiment of all-staff meetings while also accommodating their new fire-worshiping and hedonic tendencies, we will be combining our quarterly staff meetings with a pagan fire ritual (more details to come).
We hope all these improvements will help make the transition back to the office as smooth as possible. Please reach out if you have any questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!
HR, Apex Co.