How to Get Ready to Go Back to the Office
Make sure you are ready for when you have to go back to the office
As we work through unprecedented times, it is important to remember we will get through these times. States across the nation have either suggested or enforced work from home guidelines while others have completely shut down non-essential businesses. Once these orders have been lifted and workers are allowed to return, having a plan in place will help to get back into normal operations.
As workers have been adapting to their new schedule, developing a plan for re-integrating them to get back up to their maximum productivity levels.
The first thing to do is to set a date for the return to normal working conditions. As we are in the midst of the current situation, it is hard to predict when workers and businesses will be able to return to their regular workspaces. When the governmental levels lift their work from home orders, the individual organizations will have to determine when they will reopen. This may involve immediate reopening, setting it for the following Monday, or maintaining the work from home orders to further protect workers and visitors from potential exposure.
Once a reopen date has been set, each individual should be contacted and informed of the date with their confirmation that they can return. Some may have other priorities such as watching over their children or elderly family members and will be unable to return immediately. Others may just not feel comfortable leaving their house if there is still a threat of infection and should receive the best possible accommodations. This may involve continuing work from home or instituting safety measures.
It will be hard for workers to jump right back into their regular workflow. By the time of their return, many will have been working from home, or not working, for weeks and possibly months. It will take time to readjust to their normal morning routine, duties, and eating habits. For as long as that employee was gone, it will be equally as long, or longer, before they are able adjust back. There should be an expectation of a lag in productivity from those individuals.
Ways to help those workers readjust include being flexible with start times, one-on-one human support, and having a clear re-integration plan. Consulting with each employee and establishing a clear plan of what is expected upon their return will allow them to have clear tasks to focus as they get back into their regular routine.
While workers return, allowing those who are anxious or in a high-risk category, to stay at home may be the best choice. Even though the return to work order may go into effect, coronavirus will still be in the news headlines and many may not want to expose themselves by being in a populated workspace.
To calm fears, it may be worth considering a professional cleaning before they return. Having a completely sanitized space to return to, will do a lot to ease concerns. As school buildings, offices, and other community organizations are currently empty, now is the perfect time to do it, to clear any standing contamination and to avoid disruption.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19 SERVPRO of Minot has been doing proactive cleanings. By doing a proactive cleaning, workers reduce the risk of exposure from unwanted pathogens. A proactive cleaning also allows employees to be in a space that will not impact the quality of their health.
Although there are not currently any products tested against this strain of coronavirus, the products our technicians use have shown effectiveness against similar strains to this new virus. Following CDC recommended products and cleaning guidelines, SERVPRO technicians have been using hospital-grade disinfectant to sanitize workspaces during this time.
As a locally owned franchise, SERVPRO of Minot wants to help organizations stay healthy and get back to work soon. Asking your supervisor, facilities manager, or business owner to consider a professional cleaning would allow us to help get your organization back to normal.
Tips to Prevent Water Damage
One of the great things about living in the modern world, is our access to usable water. In much of the 3rd world, having water for drinking, cleaning, and plumbing is not possible. With this wonderful access we have to be careful. If not monitored carefully, the damage can be catastrophic, and expensive.
Here are some SERVPRO safety tips for preventing water damage.
Most water damage claims do not come from storms, floods, or heavy rain but rather from neglect in monitoring and replacing minor parts. An easy way to prevent damage is to replace and upgrade hosing, pipes, and other small parts that can easily break.
Make sure all of your drains are working properly. If a sink or bath tub isn't draining properly, it could lead to future problems. Ways to keep your drains in good condition are:
- Avoid pouring grease down drains.
- Keep drains clear with a regular cleaning schedule.
- Always keep a strainer in place on sink and shower/tub drains.
- Frequently clean out the strainer and deposit the debris in the trash, not back down the drain or in the toilet.
Prevent Ice Dams from forming. In the cold North Dakota winter, an ice dam forms when warm air from the attic melts the snow on the roof which freezes in the cold air. If left unchecked, the ice can build up and push into cracks between the walls and roof. Leading to leaks which can cause water damage throughout your home. Prevention of this includes:
- Have your gutters and downspouts cleaned, inspected, and repaired during the fall to ensure clear passage of water.
- Insulate your attic properly — heat in the home should not reach the attic. Warm air can melt the snow on the roof, which refreezes, forming ice dams. Make sure the attic floor is airtight by sealing any openings.
- Provide enough ventilation to the attic to keep the roof cool. Warm air should escape through vents near the top of the attic. Cold air should flow in through vents near the eaves. The temperature in the attic should be 5 to 10 °F warmer than the outside temperature.
- Remove the snow on your roof when it’s about six inches deep. Use a roof rake or a long-handled brush to remove the snow without a ladder.
The best way to prevent water damage is to maintain and upkeep the quality of your home. These small, affordable home projects can prevent large, expensive calls down the road.
How SERVPRO Helped a local non-profit in their time of need.
Operating in Minot for 105 years, the YWCA has been a shining light for generations of women within our community. The organization, which last year provided over 4,000 nights of shelter, suffered a devastating problem in November 2019 when a backed-up toilet caused flooding throughout the entire 3-story facility, leaving a wave of damage throughout the building.
Upon inspection, it was discovered that multiple walls would need repairs, vinyl flooring replaced, and flooring dried. With the scope of the repairs building up and the estimated bills doing the same, the organization was not sure what to do. A large community push was made to donate time and money to repair the damaged building. That was when Ryan Conklin, the owner of SERVPRO® of Minot, showed up and generously donated the time, effort, and materials to repair the building. The next day, there was a crew on site ripping out the vinyl flooring to dry the wet tile underneath and immediately tending to the restoration.
Within a week the damage was undone, and the YWCA could continue as normal with their daily operations. Meghan von Behren, Executive Director of the YWCA, said she was most impressed with the professionalism of the crew on site. She stated, “They took steps to make the space clean, safe, and livable.” The SERVPRO staff was able to clearly explain what steps had to be taken and demonstrate safe techniques for repairing the damage. Now the YWCA is back to being a first-class facility that can accommodate all women, safely, without the risk of disease caused by untreated water damage.
At SERVPRO we pride ourselves on being a contributing member of the community and want to help out whenever we can.
The YWCA expresses extreme gratitude towards SERVPRO of Minot for their professionalism, the respect they displayed, and the quick turnaround time it took to get the facility back to new.
The YWCA serves women from all backgrounds whether they are suffering from domestic violence, human trafficking or any other situation. To learn more about how to help, visit the YWCA on Facebook @YWCAMinotND or contact the shelter at 701-838-1812 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet Our Team: Ryan and Lance
Ryan and Lance, Owners
In 2018, Ryan Conklin and Lance Larson were given an opportunity to purchase the SERVPRO of Minot franchise and took over operations in September of 2019.
Ryan was born in Minot and graduated from Garrison High School in 1999. He attained a degree in Applied Science in 2002 from Bismarck State College. He worked for MDU from 2005-2009 where he met Lance and they decided to start Absolute Comfort. In 2019 the pair bought the SERVPRO of Minot franchise and Ryan has been operating it since.
Ryan enjoys hunting and fishing, spending time with his wife Marci, and his two kids Logan and Hailee.
Lance was born in Minot, graduated from Minot High in 1994. He became a Master Plumber and started Absolute Comfort with Ryan in 2009. Lance enjoys being outdoors, golfing, and spending time with his three kids.
As owners of Absolute Comfort in Minot, their business model aligned similarly with SERVPRO services and they saw an opportunity to extend their management philosophy to a new field in their industry. Their commitment to quality, honesty, and bringing peace of mind to those facing emergency home problems has now been combined with the SERVPRO brand.
Being local owners, Ryan and Lance want to contribute to the community. They do this by not only offering 24/7 service, but by giving back through youth sporting activities. This includes sponsoring programs such as: Minot Hockey Boosters, Minot youth baseball, Minot youth basketball, Bishop Ryan Girls Basketball team, and a variety of other youth sports. They believe in improving the quality of life within our community and helping out whenever a homeowner is in crisis.
What do I do if there is a fire?
As the local leader in restoration from fire damage, SERVPRO of Minot want to keep you informed of ways to prevent fire from having a devastating impact on your life.
The Red Cross gives some excellent tips here:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
- Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
"Who should I contact if a fire happens?"
- Immediately dial 9-1-1 and have first responders there as soon as possible.
- Make sure anyone who was in the house is out, DO NOT go back into a burning building for any people, pets, or belongings, nothing is as important as your safety.
- Once the fire has been extinguished, contact your insurance provider and see what your policy covers
- Have them contact us, SERVPRO of Minot, and we will work with them for you, to make sure everything is restored to the perfect condition.
Two tips for managing your commercial property
Tips for Managing Commercial Property
In today's world, oftentimes the people who are managing commercial properties, are not the owners. Think of a retail setting, there is probably a manger who is in charge of overseeing the operations, including the management of the property. This manager is most likely concerned with the variety of other tasks like promoting sales or managing staff. This means you shouldn't assume that they are handling the property management as well.
Two things you can do to make sure your properties are, make sure you have the best available technology and to have staff trained in correct management.
Technology could include: upgraded security systems, energy efficient lights and heating systems, and upgraded windows and doors for efficiency and security.
Another step would be to develop a plan and inform staff of that plan. This could range from a simple daily checklist, to a full emergency response plan in the event of disaster.
Emergency response plans are great for directing staff on what to do if there is an emergency. Things to include in this plan are contact numbers for contractors to come in and stop any further damage, meet up locations in case the building needs to be evacuated and business continuity plans for what will happen if the building can not be occupied for a period of time.
At SERVPRO of Minot we assist companies with putting together these plans and take pride in our attention to detail and planning when preparing these.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your business is managed properly and safely.
Meet Our Team: Jess Knudson
Jessica Knudson, Office Manager
Jessica is the Office Manager and began that role in June 2019. Her daily tasks include payroll, accounts payable/receivable, and other administrative duties.
Jess was born in Williston, ND. She graduated from Williston High School in 2010 and attended Williston State College and graduated with an associates degree in Accounting in May of 2019.
Jess is the Secretary on the Nodak Speedway Board of Director's and began that role in February 2019.
Her favorite part of working at SERVPRO of Minot is the people she gets to work with every day and helping the community. Being in charge of the office, everyday is different as she sees a variety of tasks thrown at her.
Here at SERVPRO of Minot we take pride in all of our work and Jess is an integral part of our success.
Meet our Team: Brandi Kraft
Brandi Kraft, Administrative Assistant
Brandi is the Administrative Assistant and joined our team in December 2019. Her daily duties consist of helping Jess with administrative duties and helping the Production crew to achieve their goals.
Brandi was born in Minot and graduated from Minot High School in 2005.
Brandi enjoys all the traditional hobbies of a North Dakotan including being outside, camping, hunting, and playing with her two dogs.
Brandi's favorite part of working at SERVPRO of Minot is the people she works with and helping the community. Brandi plays an important role in helping to deliver on SERVPRO of Minot's mission to be the best restoration company in North Dakota.
Here at SERVPRO of Minot we take pride in all of our work and Brandi is an integral part of our team in our success.
How SERVPRO can help stop the spread of Coronavirus for you
We are HERE TO HELP you with any solutions we can provide
Coronavirus has dominated the news headlines for the past few weeks. There has been a lot of fear and misinformation put out there and as the leader in cleaning of biological contamination in the Minot area, SERVPRO® of Minot wants to relay some accurate information as well as clarify our services which can be used to help the spread of disease.
The best way to prevent infection is to take personal steps to protect yourself
- Wash your hands with soap and warm water frequently throughout the day.
- Stay home if you feel sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Wipe and disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as your steering wheel or keyboard, often
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
Wiping high-touch surfaces can be done on a personal scale at home as well as on a commercial scale.
SERVPRO technicians are trained to be able to safely clean and disinfect buildings, offices, and other high-traffic areas against a wide variety of germs. Using proper procedures, as well as advanced personal protection equipment, we can disinfect one of these areas while minimizing the chance of further spreading germs
A few things to note:
- There is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Coronavirus. Although our technicians do use a medical grade cleaning product which has shown effectiveness against similar strains to COVID-19.
- Proactive cleaning will not prevent or protect the building from future contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.
With the current state of affairs, it is worth considering a professional cleaning to reduce the possible spread of disease carrying germs through your organization. This also gives a peace of mind to those who visit and work in your facility, knowing that we have thoroughly cleaned and disinfected that area. Being able to tell anyone who enters the area that it was recently professionally cleaned and disinfected can put an ease to a lot of worries that have surrounded COVID-19.
Why we use PPE
At SERVPRO® of Minot we take pride in being able to test for, mitigate, and clean up properties that have been invested with hazardous materials, most commonly mold.
This is why we make sure to train our staff in all safety measures to handle the problem. One of the most important measures to take is the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The use of PPE is important for a few reasons most notably, the safety of our staff and the safety and sanitation of the property.
Making sure that our staff is trained in proper use and knowledge of PPE is a main priority. This allows them to be safe and focus on the job at end, rather than worry about exposure to possibly toxic materials. When our staff knows they are safe, they can focus on providing a superior service to our customers.
We take pride in upholding the highest quality standards of safety and this is just one of the ways in which we do it.