ESA Clients and Colleagues,
I hope you all are staying healthy and grounded under these extraordinary circumstances. It has been almost a month since our initial message regarding ESA’s response to COVID-19. While in some ways it feels like little has changed in that short period of time, with most of the country under Stay-at-Home orders, there have been remarkable evolutions at ESA, and I wanted to share the most pertinent topics with you today.
Distributed ESA and Staying Safe in the Field
While all of our offices are closed and operating only under “minimal business operations,” our entire staff has been set up to work efficiently and effectively from home. We view our new operational mode as “Distributed ESA,” rather than “remote”; we are well connected and our energy and the work are flowing. We’re grateful to all our employee-owners for their nimble response—setting up ESA in over 400 homes across our four regions without skipping a beat on client service and delivering quality work.
In addition, we’ve maintained active field work programs. For projects that have been identified as “essential” by our clients (and many have), ESA our staff is committed to meeting the field work needs. We have adopted a comprehensive COVID-19 Response Plan that includes detailed and up-to-date guidance for field work to protect the health and well-being of our clients, communities, and employee-owners.
Employing Technology to Help Our Clients
ESA has effectively transformed into a completely digital workplace in just a matter of weeks, and we are finding that this transformation will also provide additional value for our clients. Over the last few weeks, we have optimized a number of our existing technology offerings to make collaboration and communication with our clients—and, in turn, their constituents and stakeholders—easier in light of COVID-19. This includes the ability to:
- Host and facilitate virtual public meetings
- Disseminate project information on a custom-designed website
- Streamline the public comment process
- Engage in more collaborative project management
If any of these technologies might be helpful for you and your organization, please reach out to your project manager for more information.
Taking Care of Our Employee-Owners
Since the second week of March, when ESA asked all of its employee-owners to work from home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, our Corporate Response Team has met daily to review the situation and provide critical updates in a daily email. This has evolved into a weekly email series: Mental Health Monday, Wired Wednesday, and Feel Good Friday, that provides everything from tips for working at home with children and best practices for conducting a video conference to inspiration and silver linings that have come from this unprecedented situation. Much of the content is driven by our staff, and we have received wonderful feedback that our employee-owners feel more connected than ever, even when physically apart.
I hope this information is helpful for you as we continue to work together during this unprecedented time. We want to assure you that ESA will be there to support your needs in any way afforded to us. Thank you for the opportunity to be your partners and colleagues. Stay safe and healthy.
All the best,
President/Chief Executive Officer