How KeyBank is making the transition back to work as safe as possible

Written on Oct 15, 2020

By Nicole Fracasso, OSCPA communications intern

In the early days of COVID-19, when the world went into lockdown, there were still a select few essential workers whose jobs required them to go into the office. Since then, Brian Lawhead has made it his primary responsibility to protect those who have been working in the corporate office at KeyBank. 

Man smiling for camera.

“It’s all been 100% around the safety of our building facilities and, therefore, extending that out to our employees,” he said.

Lawhead, who is the senior vice president, director of corporate real estate at KeyBank in Cleveland said in addition to creating new cleaning and office occupancy protocols, they are enforcing social distancing and have closed the office to visitors.

“If a meeting is being held off-site, they still follow the same safety protocols,” he said. “Masking and distancing (are required), and there are health screening questions to make sure they don’t have any symptoms.”

Lawhead refers to the “four verticals”: masking, distancing, health screening and surveying and cleaning.

“Following those four verticals is extremely important,” he said. “I’m a firm believer in that, both personally and professionally.”

In addition, Lawhead is working to ensure safety through an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) perspective.

“That is also something we have paid close attention to and done what we can to provide an air quality environment that is conducive to the safety of our employees,” he said.

While most offices are operating either remotely or under a hybrid schedule, KeyBank is using a wave method. Every other month, they’re slowly bringing more people into the office, he said. Wave one occurred in June, followed by wave two in August. The company is approaching the first phase of wave three in October.

“We’ve had people since March who have continued to come to the office five days a week,” he said. “Their job function did not allow them to work from home. That was less than 5% of our corporate employees. Those that are coming into the office today, which right now is still less than 15% of our workforce, are generally in the office four to five days a week because their jobs don’t fit to a work-from-home environment.”

While the past six months have been challenging, Lawhead said it’s rewarding to know they have provided an appropriate environment for those who couldn’t work remotely.

“The environment we have given our employees has been as safe a measure as we could possibly do during this time,” he said.

For more guidance on how to transition your team from remote to office, check out OSCPA’s Back-to-Work OSCPA’s Back-to-Work Guide.