Dear Clients and Friends,
We hope this letter finds you in good health and enjoying the summer months. As we emerge from the last pandemic restrictions, weâ€™re excited to be focused on a return to a more normal world of work and community.
Now that the final COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in the states where we have physical locations, we wanted to let you know that all three of our offices â€“ in Albuquerque, Phoenix and Edmond, OK â€“ are fully open.
While we are mindful that the crisis is not completely behind us, weâ€™re again looking forward to welcoming you back to the office for meetings or other needs. Many of our employees have chosen to become vaccinated, but the firm is not requiring it at this time. However, as of this writing, the CDC has updated its guidelines recommending that even fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again, especially in places with high COVID transmission rates. REDW will continue to closely monitor virus variants and other updates and follow the latest CDC and state guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our clients and employees remain a top priority.
Future Work Trends
Looking back over the past 18 months, REDW made many changes to keep our clients and our team members safe and our working relationships productive and rewarding. We relied more on technology in place of travel and conducted many remote engagements. As we move forward into the future, we intend to keep the best of both our pre-and post-pandemic environments, considering that 2020 and 2021 have been among our most productive years ever.
While the adjustment to working full-time from home was occasionally jarring, many of our team members enjoyed the flexibility and a better ability to balance their work and home responsibilities. Itâ€™s been such a popular policy that weâ€™ve decided to make the option to â€œWork from Anywhereâ€ (WFA) permanent.
Weâ€™re not alone in this decision. By 2022, studies predict an estimated 42.5 percent of the global workforce will be mobile employees and that recruitment and retention will depend on our offering this benefit. Our own research on hybrid collaboration and distributed teams reveals some of the benefits and challenges:
- Commitment to more technology and less travel is good for the environment.
- WFA will allow us to recruit talented team members wherever they live.
- Relationships built in the office create a community that should be valued and celebrated.
- Flexibility will be critical in redesigning physical office space to bring people together.
- Less human interaction can exact a toll on mental health.
Aligning Client and Workforce Experiences
Some team members may continue to work full-time at one of our offices; others intend to work from home nearly all of the time. Still others may move to a state outside the local zones of our offices. In a recent internal survey, most REDW employees indicated they were interested in continuing with a hybrid arrangement where they can split their time as they see fit between the office and home.
What will this change mean for you? Simply put, nothing at all. Weâ€™re in the business of adapting and always finding better ways to deliver an exceptional client experience. Your service team may be based in different locations or be in a different time zone than youâ€™re used to, and your team may continue to rely on technology as their primary means of interacting with you, but it should all be seamless to you.
While we have no plans to downsize, as a firm, we are rethinking our workplaces to marry space and technology in a way that supports both in-person and remote collaboration. Of course, meeting the needs of our clients will continue to be the driving force behind this process.
High Quality Service Reimagined
Driven by the same client-first focus, moving forward we are emphasizing choice and flexibility for our team members, ensuring they will have the freedom to work where they are most productive. We will continue to come together regularly at the office, which will act as a hub for collaboration, community, in-person client service, and development.
With that outcome in mind, the firmâ€™s plan is to enable our teams to be:
- Connected: Since feeling connected is intertwined in our culture and a vital part of our success, we will provide new tools and opportunities for teams to connect on a personal level.
- Flexible: We will be open to work arrangements and accommodations that respond to employee needs and attract top talent to our firm.
- Efficient: To ensure continued alignment of our resources with our values, the criteria we use to assess real estate investments will change.
- Collaborative: To keep collaboration at the heart of our business model and bridge our service lines, our workspaces will be organized to serve the ever-evolving needs of clients.
- Growing: To cultivate the growth of our firm and employees, space and opportunities will be designed to prioritize new ways of thinking.
The Future of Now
Thank you for taking this journey with us. We anticipate that these changes will lead to happier, healthier REDW employees and improved ideas and suggestions for your organization, business and family. We welcome any feedback to these ideas that you may have, so please reach out to me or your relationship manager with your questions and concerns. Weâ€™re also happy to discuss how what we are doing at REDW may benefit your organization.
Steve Cogan, CPA
REDW Managing Principal