COVID-19 has changed how businesses of all kinds are directing their efforts. The search for a new normal continues as many gear back up for business. The Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber and Georgia Power teamed up to create a three-part webinar series titled “The Power of Energy in a Pandemic” to provide guidance from local community leaders on how to power through times of uncertainty.
“There has been a change of pace in many ways,” said Joe Brownlee of Georgia Power. “We hope these topics can help direct us to a new normal.”
Numerous brick-and-mortar businesses had no choice but to ask employees to work remotely for at least a limited amount of time. For some, this is may continue. Even with the right resources, this atmospheric change is likely to affect one’s work while learning to adapt.
Long time remote worker, Sally Sutton of Anchored Media Marketing, took over the discussion to share her path to productivity while working from home.
Sutton understands the potential struggles of working from home that may not pose threats in an office.
“Don’t beat yourself up if you do find yourself distracted,” Sutton expressed.
She says that a consistent, dedicated workspace with organized time blocks is a good place to start.
Georgia Power’s Joe Brownlee served as the series’ moderator and also snowballed off of Sutton’s tips for working at home. He shared proven ways to decrease one’s energy use while spending more time at home than usual.
Brownlee welcomed Paris Shields of Valdosta Premier Counseling as day two’s guest focusing on internal energy.
While our workload and styles may look different, we all have been affected internally as well. Shields hoped to help viewers “maintain mental and physical wellness going through a pandemic.”
“The best thing we can do is focus on the positives,” said Shields. “Instead of focusing our energy on how long this stage will last, we should ask ourselves what we can do with this time that we usually are unable to do.”
Our emotional wellness is exceptionally important as we redirect our energy to prepare for businesses reopening. A variety of local businesses have done their part to set safe trends and help others transition back into business in an admirable way.
Kara Jones of US Press shared their focus on producing floor decals to promote a social distance. They hope their services will help “promote commerce but also public safety,” Jones shared.
Floor decals is not a new product for US Press, but they have been able to take this previously offered service and make it helpful and relevant.
“We have produced floor decals for years, but most of the time they have been used as a branding opportunity. Now, they are a way to promote social distancing amongst patrons,” Jones said.
Wilkinson’s, another local industry, has also tapped into another part of their work to better suit the community’s current needs.
Wilkinson’s has been “producing home textiles for 50 years,” shared Fred Wilkinson. “The masks fit right into what were doing since we already had the fabric and machines.”
When beginning to create the masks, Wilkinson needed a way to protect his own employees and hoped to help others as well.
“We have closely followed the CDC’s guidelines through COVID-19. Our masks help our own employees and others,” Wilkinson said.
To share more safe practices when reentering the workplace, Amanda Martin of Barnes Drug Store joined the conversation.
“First and foremost, we must make sure we are following the CDC’s updates,” Martin expressed. “As an essential business that never fully shut down, we had to make sure we implemented all of their guidelines.”
Martin proceeded to share tips for other businesses to remember when reopening their doors.
“We started employee temperature check very early on with no contact thermometers,” Martin said. She recommended investing in this product and shared how to obtain them.