Many of you are returning to work. There are two major concerns for all of us: safety and making up for lost time. From a safety perspective, one the most important things that we can do is to practice social distancing. At ABS, we have been able to do so and remain fully operational because of our unique systems and infrastructure.
Most of ABS’ office, client services, and business development staff are working from home. Because most of our operations run using a highly customized database, this transition was seamless. We all remain connected and updated in real time regarding all facets of our business. For example, I have been working remotely for over 20 years.
Presently, about one half of our staff is working remotely. We remain connected through regular calls, video-conferences, emails, and our database. This Friday, for example, we are having a company-wide team building activity with prizes via video.
At our headquarters, laboratory staff and a limited number of administrative and logistics personnel are all wearing masks. In the laboratories, protective clothing such as lab coats and gloves have always been the norm and we are now even more cognizant of safety. In addition, we are installing more sanitizer stations and safety signage, having temperature checks, and placing HEPA air-purifying units (some with UV lights for disinfection) in many rooms. Likewise, staff are eating at their desks or separating themselves by at least six feet in the lunch area. We are also looking into using acrylic shields to provide further separation in some areas. All of this is unfortunate, but it is the most prudent and considerate approach to this situation.
Although there is no certainty as to what may happen in the next few months, it is sensible to expect that the pandemic will continue until there is either an effective vaccine or treatment. This does not seem likely until next year. A recent blog post by Francis Collins at NIH (https://directorsblog.nih.gov/2020/06/02/will-warm-weather-slow-spread-of-novel-coronavirus/) also suggests that the warmer summer weather may not afford much of a reprieve from the virus.
We are all looking for ways to move forward and not lose more time to this pandemic. With staggered work schedules and partial openings, it is difficult to get things done and not loose more productivity. Since our founding in 1990, ABS has striven to be an extension your laboratories. Throughout this difficult time, we have remained fully operational. We exist because we help you get your work done. In these challenging times that assistance is even more needed. Please talk with us about how we can support your research needs.