COVID-19 Information


July 31 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • July 31, 2020

Hello Everyone –

A Friday Covid update for you. This has been a big week in terms of new guidance from authorities! All along we have been following the advice from our local/state/federal authorities and we continue to do so. We are in the process of updating our guidance document but I wanted to get this info to you right away.

  1. Wisconsin Mask Order. As of tomorrow, Wisconsin has a mask mandate. You can find more information here: Governor Evers’s Executive Order and FAQs about the order What this means for Kahler Slater:
    • As of August 1, in our Milwaukee and Madison offices, masks are required by ALL staff at ALL times -- unless a person is alone in a conference room or briefly eating.
    • Please know that we have a number of conference rooms that can be reserved (even for several hours), if you need a break from mask wearing while in the office. We will talk to the RTO group about the idea of allowing a few people to “set up” office temporarily in a room if needed. We will explore if we could make something like this work.
    • If it helps, I have been doing a LOT of mask wearing these days when I am caring for my Mom. I usually wear a mask for 4 hours at a stretch. It is hard to believe, but I do tend to forget that I have it on.
  2. Chicago Quarantine for Wisconsin Visitors. As of today (July 31), Chicago is requiring that anyone who visits Chicago from Wisconsin quarantine themselves for 14 days. This means we are NOT able to do normal business activities that require anyone who lives in Wisconsin to go to Chicago. Please talk with your teams/team leaders about ways to best accomplish our projects in this new environment. This also means that if one of our Chicago staff members needs to come to Wisconsin for any business reason, they may not stay more than 24 hours or they will have to quarantine upon return to Chicago. You can read more here: Chicago Wisconsin Quarantine Rules

We will watch closely for adjustments to both orders. Please let me know what questions you may have and as always, I remind you of our Covid site. https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid

Have a great weekend everyone.

Kelly


July 24 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • July 24, 2020

Hello Everyone –

A Friday update for you. Important reminders/new info below.

  1. Our latest guidance to staff can ALWAYS be found here: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid See the YELLOW box upper right hand corner.
    1. We remind you that If you are in close contact (household member, someone outside of your house that you are caring for or regularly see) with a person who displays any of the COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell), our policy states: You may NOT enter our offices if: In the last 14 days, have you been exposed (within 6’) to someone with a known COVID-19 diagnosis or someone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
    2. Our policy also states: that you should not be visiting our offices, nor one of our clients’ project sites, nor anywhere else for work until you, and anyone else in your household (including someone you care for) has been symptom-free for at least 14 days.
  2. We are in the process of posting our Office Closure protocols to the COVID site however, in the meantime, ALL STAFF will be notified of an office closure due to potential or confirmed COVID exposure via email. This means that you MUST check your email BEFORE going to the office no matter the circumstance, whether you are simply stopping in or you are a part of the RTO. This is the BEST way for us to notify that the office is closed. We will send the message with high importance (!). We are aware that another local firm has had to close twice already so this is a scenario that unfortunately could happen.

If you have questions, please let me know. Thanks everyone for your continued diligence and awareness.

Kelly


Parking and other CYOB Questions - COVID Edition

Erica Chappelear • July 22, 2020

Hello Milwaukee!

Monthly parkers this is important information for you. Summer interns, you can stop reading. All other staff drop to the last paragraph!

If you are a monthly parker in either the basement or the Grand Ave structure, you were billed in March for the month of April. You were not billed in April, May, or June and will not be bill until you reactivate your parking. This is our current understanding with Interstate Parking. When we turned on our RTO group, it turned off the parking card access for all others. If you are back in the office as part of the RTO and have turned on your monthly parking, you can drop to the last paragraph now.

If you are NOT part of RTO but need access to parking for:

  • a short period of time (15 mins or less; ex: to pick something up in the office or drop something off), you can park in the circle drive.
  • a longer period of time (ex: working in the office for an hour, parking for a meeting/tour/site visit downtown, parking for personal reasons) and want to access your regular spot/structure, you can choose to:
    • Reactivate your monthly parking. Notify Kim Jackson with your request at least 24 hours before your first resumed use. This means you will resume paying your monthly rate and you will continue to use your regular card to access the structure.
    • Pay for a daily/hourly rate. In this situation, do not use your card to access the structure; pull a ticket instead and submit for reimbursement if you have parking at your CYOB or submit to Auxiant for your FSA if you use that. ASQ basement parkers: You’ll need to switch to the Grand Ave structure or metered parking on Michigan Street.
  • If you are in the office for anything longer than a quick pick-up, you should go through RTO training.

Last Paragraph!

If you use an Auxiant Flex-Spend Account for your parking: Even if you only use this on a daily basis, you may not need as much. You may change this FSA quarterly using the linked form. Additionally any funds you don’t use in 2020 will automatically carry over to 2021. You may considering reducing the amount during open enrollment. Either way, to keep your FSA account open, it has been recommended that you have$1/month deducted from your payroll. Please ask Judy Pauley if you have questions.

If you use CYOB for your parking: Whether monthly or daily you have funds that haven’t been used or paid to you. Good news, we have a solution! IRS section 139 allows for tax-free payments to employees for a number of additional costs related to the current pandemic.

  • Please read the linked article for a list of possible expenses that are covered.
  • Please enter an expense for each month of missed parking costs (April, May, June). You DO NOT need a receipt, but should type up a short statement in Word and use that as your receipt as Concur will require it. Example statement: Due to the COVID Pandemic and our work from home requirement, I did not use my monthly parking allocation this month. Instead, I increased my home utility and internet costs this month in addition to needed over-the-counter medical supplies and sanitizers for my home office. Date and you name.
  • Continue to request your reimbursement this way until you return to the office or until we have more information regarding group parking.

If you elected to use CYOB for professional development that was cancelled or a membership that you don’t need due to COVID:

IRS section 139 allows for tax-free payments to employees for a number of additional costs related to the current pandemic.

  • Please read the linked article for a list of possible expenses that are covered.
  • Submit for the appropriate amount of Continuing Education/Professional funds based on your elections. If you think you MIGHT have something that comes up later in the year, please wait and request this amount later in 2020.
  • You DO NOT need a receipt, but should type up a short statement on in Word and use that as your receipt as Concur will require it. Example statement: Due to the COVID Pandemic, I was not able to attend a planned professional development session. Instead, I increased my home utility and internet costs this month in addition to needed over-the-counter medical supplies and sanitizers for my home office. Date and your name.

Erica Chappelear, SHRM-CP

Training and Development Specialist, Associate


July 16 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • July 16, 2020

Hi Everyone –

The City of Milwaukee’s mask ordinance goes into effect today requiring new rules for face coverings. Our Executive Team has looked closely at the ordinance.

Kahler Slater’s Milwaukee office is NOT open to the public at this time (reminder we have a strict NO VISITOR policy and our elevators are locked off) and therefore this ordinance does not apply to our staff when staff is inside our office. The ordinance does apply to the public areas of our building, i.e. lobby, parking areas, elevators, stairs.

Once inside our office, Kahler Slater’s own policies apply. Our current policy:

Wear a mask when within 6’ of another person, including whenever you are entering the office, moving around the office and in conference rooms, meetings, shared spaces, or any time a 6’ social distance may be compromised. Face masks are optional while working at your desk.

A FACE COVERING means a protective mask covering the nose and mouth, including cloth face coverings or surgical masks as described by the centers for disease control and prevention. Face Masks CDC Note: Any type of plastic face shield worn alone is NOT an acceptable form of face covering.

If you have questions, please let me know. Thanks everyone for your continued diligence and awareness.

Kelly


Resiliency 121

Jim Rasche • July 16, 2020

All,

Good Day 121. Why 121? Well it’s Kahler Slater’s post COVID shut down Day 121 in Kahler Slater’s Year 112 of being in business.

So for giggles, what does numerology say about 121 and 112? https://affinitynumerology.com/number-meanings/number-121-meaning.php and https://affinitynumerology.com/number-meanings/number-112-meaning.php

121and 112 have the same meaning….both are highly focused, independent, and pragmatic numbers…The energy the numbers 121 and 112 represent resonates with a focus on creating a secure foundation upon which existence and endeavors can rest. They are self-determined and independent. And it is with conscientiousness.

Well doesn’t that match to a tee what we are all doing to continue to make Kahler Slater great? These numerology meanings must be for real!


Seriously, Thanks for making Day 121 a great day. We’ll get through this together just as Kahler Slater has gotten through other challenging times. We know this because of your tremendous commitments working through the challenges of Working From Home, being a part of the Return To Office Pilot teams, maintaining relationships with each other, partners and clients, making new relationships, winning their trust to hire us as their designers and equally important for finding new ways of working to get all this done that will make Kahler Slater stronger for the next 112 years…yes that would be in the year 2132. These times we are going through will be a great part of the legacy of Kahler Slater for all time.

Cheers,

Executive Team

Jim, George, Kelly, Al, Glenn


July 13 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • July 13, 2020

Hi Everyone,

As many of you know, Dane County instituted a face mask requirement for all building interiors in the county effective today, July 13th. You can find the official order language or a more general summary of the order by clicking on these links. We have reviewed the order and in addition to our normal guidance, there are several highlights our staff should be aware of:

  • Masks are required in any building in which someone could come in contact with a person who resides outside of your household. This means that even if working alone in our office, a mask is required at all times.
  • For job sites: The Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin confirmed the Dane County Health Department clarified that an "enclosed building" is being defined as any structure with a roof and four walls (windows or no windows).

The Madison & Dane County Department of Public Health requires all businesses to post the following workplace requirement document. https://publichealthmdc.com/documents/workplace_requirements.pdf

Based on the order, we are also sharing guidance from the Madison & Dane County Department of Public Health and reminding staff of the FFCRA tips employee leave rights.

We are watching Milwaukee’s vote closely on this same topic and will provide more information when we have it.

We are grateful that we are able to do so much of our work from our home offices during this time. Thanks everyone for your continued diligence and awareness.

Kelly


Resiliency in the Face of Uncertainty

Kelly Gaglione • July 9, 2020

All,

Uncertainty is everywhere we look. Will the kids go back to school or daycare? If so how/when? Will we have a second or third wave of COVID-19? What might this mean for the economy? Will masks be required indoors and out? When will there be a vaccine?

What do resilient people and companies do in the face of uncertainty? We rely on one another, we constantly evaluate the situation and keep moving forward. This week we did just that by opening our various offices to our Return To the Offices (RTO) volunteers. We had a great group of people working hard at the end of last week to get the offices ready and this week we had to adjust on the fly as some people needed to change their plans for being a part of the RTO and Dane County implemented a strict indoor mask requirement. In other words, we flexed to the situation and we adapted.

We want everyone to know that in these uncertain times, we do not anticipate making it mandatory that anyone has to return to the office until things are much more settled. We know this may take several months or longer. In the meantime, we are ramping up efforts to increase our remote working efficiency and effectiveness. You will hear more about that soon.

And the great news, in the face of uncertainty, Kahler Slater is successfully working on our projects from our many offices, finding ways to creatively collaborate, pursuing new work, winning new projects and opening new offices (Yay, Chicago!). We should all be proud of how we are coming together and adapting!

Evelyn Freimann shared a quote recently that sums up these thoughts:

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

Thank you all. Let’s keep adapting and moving forward!


Independence Day Resiliency

George Meyer • July 2, 2020

All,

Resilience is adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or stress.

As we are resilient today, the early American colonists were resilient on July 4, 1776. Let’s take a little time this weekend to think about their resiliency and ours. There are several parallels. We have a new beginning in this new post pandemic world awaiting us. We are building new systems to address our independence and virtual reliance on each other. We too are facing new challenges and rising to meet them.

Enjoy the holiday weekend and welcome in the RTO starting Monday, July 6.


June 30 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • June 30, 2020

Hi Everyone,

Isn’t it hard to believe it is the last day of June? I hope everyone is enjoying the summer weather!

  • Updated Guidance for Everyone and for those Returning to Our Offices. As ALWAYS our latest/greatest guidance will always be found in the upper right hand corner of our dedicated covid website in yellow found here: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid
  • Non RTO staff working in the office during the RTO period. One of the questions that was asked last week during our all staff information session regarding returning to the office was whether it was OK now for staff that is NOT formally a part of RTO to “drop in” to work in the office from time to time. The answer right now is no. Right now we have our RTO participants PLUS people going to the office for essential activities i.e. printing and shipping proposals or picking up checks, etc. During the first two weeks of our pilot, we want to limit the group working in the office to these people. As always, if you need to stop in to pick something up you may do so, wearing your mask and following all published guidance. We may open this up a bit more after July 20th and if so, people who would like to drop in to work for a day/afternoon will need training and permission to do so. More information will come later on that. Please keep sending me your questions.

Kelly


June 26 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • June 26, 2020

Hi Everyone,

A few quick updates for you.

  • Updated Guidance for Everyone and for those Returning to Our Offices. This week we issued updated guidance on our policies, protocols etc. re: Covid. We have a special new section in there for those who are part of our Returning To the Office Volunteer Pilot Group along with those who are going to the office for essential work AND anyone stopping in quickly to pick something up. As ALWAYS our latest/greatest guidance will always be found in the upper right hand corner of our dedicated covid website in yellow found here: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid
  • Important Presentation. On Tuesday, we had an important ALL STAFF briefing on the new guidelines noted above and our plans for our Returning to the Offices (RTO) Pilot. Thanks to most of you for attending! We have about 20 people who still need to view the presentation as this is a mandatory communication for ALL. Erica has sent you an email if you are a part of the group that needs to view the presentation along with a form you need to sign off on. For those who were just captivated by our presentation and would like to see it again. It can be found here: https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/df21d3ee-ab61-4432-bb10-cd9f1b65d06f Just in Time training for those in the RTO Group is early next week.

Kelly


Resiliency

George Meyer • June 26, 2020

All,

As the Exec team, we are seeing more examples of all of us working better together even though we are apart.

The Return to Work (RTO) Volunteer Pilot Group is preparing for a July 6 return to the Milwaukee office. On Tuesday, Kelly and Glenn kicked off RTO Pilot with a companywide information session. Trina and Marshall are in full Chicago office set up mode, installing carpet tiles in the Chicago office—we are not “returning” to the Chicago office we are OTO (Opening the Office). The Madison office had the patio washed recently and looks forward to opening the overhead doors on summer days. In Richmond, Kim, Barb and Brandon continue to meet with new clients either onsite or via socially distanced coffee – always putting safety first. We have all planned on using our PTO in 2020 and look forward to some time to relax and escape. The PFM 4.0 GSD team kicked off the PM Team training and we are looking forward to weekly PM meeting starting on July 16. We are scheduling one-on-one virtual conversations regarding 2020 raises in the near future. Tracie is rolling out Microsoft Teams to a few internal teams with a plan for a larger roll out soon. We continue to pursue and win new projects for existing and new clients. This week we welcomed two new employees who started on the Higher Education Team.

Enjoy the weekend and thank you for all you are doing to keep us together.

Exec Team

Jim, George, Al, Glenn and Kelly


Good News and Resiliency

George Meyer • June 17, 2020

All,

We have some great news to share with you. Soon, you will be receiving a Resiliency Bonus, and for those who were with us in 2019, you also will be receiving a 2019 Bonus and a 2020 Salary Increase. We will be emailing you a separate letter on Thursday with the details of your 2019 Bonus. The Resiliency Bonuses and non-principal 2019 Bonuses will be included in the June 19, 2020 paychecks, and your elected percentages for 401k will be withheld on those bonuses. So, go ahead and order yourself a surprise on-line, order some take-out food, enjoy. This is all well-deserved. [Note: We plan to pay Principal 2019 Bonuses when firm profits and cash flow permit.]

The principals will no longer have a portion of their salaries deferred. The portions of their salaries that were previously deferred will be paid in early July.

2020 Salary Increases will be effective July 5 and appear on your July 17 paycheck. Team Leaders will be having a conversation with you between June 29 and July 15 to discuss your overall performance and compensation.

Kahler Slater has thus far been fortunate to have been able to keep all staff employed at their normal FTE and at their regular pay throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of our peers have lost their jobs due to layoffs, furloughs, or terminations, and many of those who remained employed had pay cuts and/or only received pay for COVID-19 related leave time at reduced amounts.

Kahler Slater has been supported by a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (SBA PPP) loan which we expect to be turned into a forgivable loan, meaning we would not have to pay the loan back. Everyone who has logged work time with us between April 17 and June 11, 2020 (the SBA PPP “covered period”) will be receiving up to a $2,200 Resiliency Bonus, prorated based on your worked hours in the covered period.

Why a Resiliency Bonus? You rose to the occasion, you worked at your dining room table, you had a cat walking across your keyboard, you spent days on end alone in your apartment, you cared for your vulnerable parent and worked, you played teacher and worked, you put up with a host of new co-workers at home – and still got the work done!! We thank you.

We remain cautious and continue to manage the firm in response to the changing economy. Many of our clients are taking longer to pay us for our services provided and invoiced previously. The spending freeze remains in place and we are approving a limited amount of expenses over the summer.

In spite of any short-term challenges, we continue to take a long view for the strategic growth of Kahler Slater. That includes taking care of our talented staff (you!) as well as hiring a few other highly talented people to fill in some of the missing pieces. Searches are underway for several key positions, although other budgeted positions are on hold. Many of our current clients are continuing to move their projects forward, our new business development efforts have been successful, and we are actively pursuing many potential projects.

We are optimistic that we will continue to be successful as we work through this together. Due to everyone’s efforts we expect to continue to succeed in this new reality!

Executive Team

Jim, George, Kelly, Al, and Glenn


June 16 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • June 16, 2020

Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone is doing well. We finally have summer weather in our Midwestern offices which is very welcome! A few quick updates for you.

  • Important Presentation. We will be inviting ALL STAFF to a presentation next week regarding Updated Guidance re: Covid-19 AND our plans for our Returning to the Offices (RTO) Pilot. We are asking ALL STAFF to attend this one hour session so that you may be informed about our approach, our resources and our new policies and guidelines. Even if you do not expect to go to one of Kahler Slater offices for some time, we are asking everyone to attend. Look for the invitation. Erica needs to verify that every staff member viewed this presentation so please contact Erica if you are not able to attend and we will work on a plan to ensure you have the information you need.
  • Canvas Upgrades. I am really excited to report that our Kahler Slater Canvas site has been upgraded. Thank you Joe Briggs. Due to popular demand, you may now upload videos (up to 1 minute in length) in addition to your photos and also comment on the various posts by clicking the smiley face on each post. We hope you enjoy these new features! These add-ons will come in handy next week for our Kahler Slater virtual picnic! In the meantime, keep posting your photos/videos that represent your work at home or quarantine experience and special life events (Check out Peter Ogden’s great news!). For this week, show us what you are cooking or gilling or baking or a pic of your favorite takeout. I know there are some budding pre-teen and teen chefs out there! Here is the link. https://www.kahlerslater.com/canvas
  • Newsletter. And a big thank you to our Keep Calm and Quarantine Newsletter team: Megan Wells, Anna Bergman and Justin Hageman. The team is going to keep going but publish fewer newsletters over the summer so they too can take a well-deserved break! Join me in thanking them for keeping us calm and smiling.

Kelly


Resiliency

George Meyer • June 3, 2020

All,

We began this resiliency message about 12 weeks ago as we started adjusting to the new realities of the Pandemic. Among all this change we are sadly reminded of how little progress we as a community and a nation have made on the topic of racial disparity, injustice, systematic racism, and discrimination. Community as a core value means as much to Kahler Slater as it does to us as individuals.

We support peaceful protests, we support our Black community and we stand for justice, equality and peace. We know that many of our staff live near where the protests are happening daily. If you find yourself feeling emotionally overwhelmed we ask that you reach out to one of the Exec Team and of course to your own network. All our lives are connected to the communities and cites in which we live. All of our offices are in the center of major metropolitan cities. All of us influence social issues every day. We can be the change we need.

To do a small part to help, Kahler Slater is making a donation to the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA) which supports all minorities in the profession.

Remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Exec Team

Jim, George, Kelly, Al, and Glenn


Resiliency

George Meyer • May 29, 2020

Good Morning,

Another week. Is this feeling normal yet?

We are looking forward to our June 3 staff meeting. It is time to hear about some of the new projects, new people and new ideas that are growing “at the office”. “At the office” has a new meaning, doesn’t it? “At the office” exists in a much larger context now. It is at your dining room table, at your basement desk, and at your laptop. Wherever YOU office, thanks for all you do!

While we are “at the office” we are all seeing a new normal of Ring Central/Zoom meetings. We attach an article about Zoom Fatigue. Did Zoom Fatigue even exist three months ago? Now we all experience it. There is some good advice. https://hbr.org/2020/04/how-to-combat-zoom-fatigue

One way to avoid Zoom Fatigue is PTO. It is a great time to plant and enjoy the day outside. Take a day and avoid the computer/phone. Enjoy the day! While you are at it, post your garden/planting/flowers photos on Canvas. We would love to see what is coming up in your yards or what you have planted! Kahler Slater’s Canvas webpage It is almost Summer, let’s PTO!!!!

Stay Healthy,

Exec Team,

Jim, George, Kelly, Al, and Glenn


May 26 - COVID - 19 UPDATE - Current Guidance from Kahler Slater

Kelly Gaglione • May 26, 2020

Hi All,

We hope everyone had a good holiday weekend.

Due to our recent Covid cases AND as the world starts opening up, there have been many questions from staff. As always we are following multiple sources for guidance including the CDC and our states. This email is to provide current guidance from Kahler Slater as it relates to our business activities. You will note some UPDATED directives which are noted by a yellow highlight below (Items 2, 6c., 8, 9, and 10). Most of the rest have been in place since mid-March and have been issued in previous updates via email. All current polices are located in this statement.

  1. We have a private Covid-19 website. A reminder that you can find ALL past updates and important info on our special site: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid
  2. UPDATED Exposure to Covid-19. If you believe you have been exposed to Covid - 19, you know you have been exposed, you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or you have tested positive, we are asking you to notify your team leader, John Horky AND Erica Chappelear via email immediately. If this notification is happening after normal business hours, we ask you to also text in addition to email. John H mobile 414-531-5871, Erica mobile 414-839-9149. We have developed a process to address this situation and we will CALL you to get the process started.

    1. Please see a flow chart of our process found here
    2. If you have been in locations where there are others that are at high risk of having the virus such as hospitals, nursing homes, other states that are considered CDC hotspots noted in red here on the cdc state mapstates found we ask that you do not enter a Kahler Slater office for 14 days after your last visit and that you notify Erica.
  3. Virtual when possible. As a general rule, if you can find a way to do something virtually please do so. Use your best efforts. We recognize that there may be times when this is impractical or not possible. If you must go somewhere on behalf of Kahler Slater, please follow specific guidelines found below.
  4. Gauge your comfort level. If you are expected or asked to do a site visit or other meeting and you do not feel comfortable, please inform your team leader immediately and we will find another way to meet our obligations.
  5. Work from home. Kahler Slater is still requiring every employee to work from home. We have not yet opened the offices.
    1. The one exception is that some of our staff may need to travel to one of our offices and perform essential business operations; for example IT, accounting, and sealing documents for submission to authorities.
  6. Office Access. All offices will be locked, however you still have access to the offices via your key card or key, in case you need to stop into the office to pick up a forgotten item or print something, etc. No staff member will be allowed to work in the office. Further, you are NOT ALLOWED in the office under any circumstance if you are sick, or if you think / feel you “might be coming down with something.”
    1. In order to enter any of our offices, you must be able to answer NO to all of the posted questions at the front entrance. See poster here
    2. In order to enter any of our offices you must be wearing some type of facemask at all times.
    3. UPDATED You must be alone, no one may accompany you to the office.
  7. Construction Site Visits.
    1. Some of our staff may need to travel to construction sites and conduct construction administration site visits when virtual visits are not able to meet our contractual requirements or professional standard of care.
    2. If you are providing construction administration phase services and would typically be making a construction site visit for an active project, please review Kahler Slater’s COVID-19 construction site visit protocol
  8. UPDATED Clients, Potential Clients, Business Contacts requested meetings at their site or any site. In order to attend any of these meetings you must have approval from a member of the executive team)

    1. Every employee must follow all client published policies re: entering their sites
    2. You must take your personal vehicle (no public transportation see below) or a rental car.
    3. NO carpooling.
    4. Follow all social distancing guidelines, wash your hands, etc. See item #12 below.
  9. UPDATED Air Travel for Business. Provided you obtain approval from a member of the executive team, we allow client directed and approved air travel. We ask that upon your return from your trip that you do not enter a Kahler Slater office for 14 days. Please inform Erica of all trips and dates for tracking purposes.

  10. UPDATED Personal Travel. If you travel via air or use public transportation for personal reasons we will ask that you not enter a Kahler Slater office for 14 days. You do not need to inform Erica regarding personal travel.

  11. No bus, rideshare or train travel for Kahler Slater related business.
  12. Other Important Guidelines
    1. Follow current CDC guidelines for seeking medical attention and seek medical care early. (Information is regularly updated on their website).
    2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Find the proper hand washing fact sheet here.
    3. Use hand sanitizer if you are not able to wash your hands.
    4. Wear a mask
    5. Maintain a “social distance” of a 6 feet minimum
    6. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    7. Sneeze into a tissue and throw it away or if that is not available, sneeze into your elbow vs your hands. cough and sneeze etiquette
    8. Keep your work surfaces clean.

Let me know what questions you may have.

Thank you.

Kelly


Resiliency Holiday Weekend

George Meyer • May 21, 2020

All,

As we conclude the tenth week of the quarantine/ safer at home/ isolation, we realize that this is the twentieth week of the year. So far this year, we have spent half of 2020 apart, after spending the first half together.

We all have been impacted by the virus in one way or another. As John informed everyone yesterday, we have two employees who tested positive. After conversations with both, we are happy to report they are both on their way to recovery. We recommend taking all precautions you can to avoid those nasty symptoms.

Social distancing doesn't mean social isolation and even this potentially deadly virus shouldn't force us to be alone. Now, more than ever, people need to find smart ways to stay connected. Have a virtual bratwurst with a college friend. Drive the route that was a parade route last Memorial Day with streamers on your car or bike. Have a Bloody Mary on Monday morning and post to the Kahler Slater Canvas!! Have some real fun and some virtual fun.

Join us 4pm today for the conclusion of the Undie 500 benefiting Guest House and some of Milwaukee’s most vulnerable. First please, make a donation, complete a competition and encourage your team to participate. Go, go, go to all our teams. The finish line is in sight!!!

We are thinking of all of you,

Executive Team

Jim (Team Panasonic), George (Team Shell), Kelly (Team NAPA), Al (Team Penske) and Glenn (Team NAPA)


COVID-19 Message

John Horky • May 21, 2020

Hello Kahler Slater,

Highly Confidential Information

On 5/15/2020 we learned that two of our staff were showing symptoms of COVID-19. Both cases were subsequently confirmed through testing.

Of those two people, only one of them has physically been in any of our offices since their respective (likely) exposures. (S/he) stopped in our Milwaukee office on 5/12/2020 to go to (his/her) desk and then leave.

We have notified those employees, and others who have been identified by them as being directly exposed to them through close contact while working. We have asked all to self-quarantine. We are in the process of notifying any clients or contacts who may have been affected as well.

We share this information in a spirit of openness and transparency. As we have communicated in the past, we will tell you if/when we have information about a staff member that has been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Experts agree that information sharing and then acting on it, is one of the best ways we can stop the spread of this virus. In addition, some clients are requiring notification of diagnosis or exposure, so it is important for that reason as well.

Please keep all of your peers in your thoughts, especially these staff who have been directly impacted by COVID-19.

Feel free to reach out to Erica or me if you have any questions or concerns.

John


May 18 - COVID-19 Update

Kelly Gaglione • May 18, 2020

Hi All,

We will have more updates for you tomorrow, but I wanted to get one important item out today.

Return to Offices (RTO) Timing.

In our April 28th Covid-19 Update, we shared that our target date for Returning To the Offices (RTO) in Wisconsin would be no earlier than June 1.

On May 8th we sent everyone a survey to learn more about your thoughts/questions regarding returning to the offices and asked for volunteers to be a part of our “phase I” return which is a small Pilot Group who will help us to smooth out processes, etc. for an eventual larger return to the office. The response was great. Thank you so much for the insights you shared in the survey!

Here is what we know right now. We will NOT start our RTO Pilot on June 1.

Though, the Supreme Court ended the Wisconsin Safer at Home Order, the City of Milwaukee determined that in the City the Safer at Home Order remains in place without a specified end date. Our RTO group has been working hard to find appropriate guidelines for a smart return to the office and adapt the guidelines to the specific needs of Kahler Slater. This process has revealed to us that there are a lot of decisions to be made and details to iron out before we have our pilot group go back to the offices. We do not feel the need to rush back to the offices immediately and most importantly, we want to do this well. We will be keeping an eye on the changing stay at home/safer at home orders as they are expiring/extending. We also have determined that the following criteria need to be in place BEFORE we open any of our offices.

We will begin our return to the office with a Pilot Group of Volunteers when:

  1. We have an adequate stock of CDC approved sanitizing supplies and protective materials.
  2. We feel confident that we have appropriate policies, procedures, training, and preparations in place to accommodate a pilot group to return.

We are actively working on a proactive plan and at this moment do not know when we will begin the Pilot Group or how long it will last. Please know that work from home will remain a choice for many as their personal circumstances require and the work assignments allow. We will give the Pilot Group a two week notice so they can be ready.

This applies to ALL offices: Milwaukee, Madison, Richmond and Chicago.

Let me know what questions you may have.

Kelly and John


Resiliency Defined

George Meyer • May 14, 2020

Week nine is almost complete. March 17 seems so long ago. We have been talking resiliency for about two months and we were wondering about the definition. The Oxford Dictionary says: is:


We are showing positive signs of resiliency, We are more flexible, durable, strong, and adaptable than we were before. Our strength is our ability to work remotely, to rely on each other, to know each other’s capabilities and shortfalls. We are a team.

Please take some time to have cup of virtual coffee with someone who you would have seen every day in February. Invite a new employee to have a quick chat on Skype. Schedule a Ring Central meeting with some people who are not working together on one project. Let’s stay elastic, strong and together.

Stay healthy,

Jim, George, Kelly, Al and Glenn

Executive Team


Continued Resilience

George Meyer • May 8, 2020

All,

As we end week 8 of working from home, we remain resilient. It was great to see everyone at the May Meet Up last night including those on the golf course! Thanks everyone for joining in. The presentations showed that we are adapting, learning and in many cases exceeding our own expectations! Thanks to everyone.

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the unexpected passing of our colleague, Tom Miller. Tom left us too early in life. He is missed. We cannot imagine what he would be doing quarantined at home without Starbucks and lots of close friends around him. Please take a moment to remember Tom and his family. The executive team have each made a personal donation to the Tom Miller Memorial Fund to assist his family.

We are sharing the attached singing telegram from UPAF thanking all of us for a very successful UPAF campaign. It is quite cute and artistic. Take a look.

And we send a special Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers, step-mothers, grandmothers, etc. in our Kahler Slater family. We hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Jim, George, Kelly, Glenn and Al

Executive Team


Resiliency Continues

George Meyer • April 30, 2020

All,

Great UPAF Campaign last week. It was good to see everyone’s face on the screen. It seems like a long time since we were together. John’s message about Returning to the Offices shows that it may take even longer to get back together. We will need to be flexible, as we always are.

George’s advice this week is:

Take a “news holiday”. The more time I watch the news the more irritated I become and it is harder for me to relax. I prefer to spend time on the things I can influence, rather than on the virus. It is better for me to take on a household task, read a book or think about those things for which I am grateful. Looking for gratitude during this pandemic is much more rewarding than looking for news.

Thank you to those who took PTO last week . The total PTO hours last week were 400 hours without anyone getting on a plane. Please continue to take PTO as you are able.

The backlog is currently holding strong with some work slipping out into the future, and very few projects being canceled. The SBA PPP loan will help carry us thru these project delays. Watch for the bell ringer emails since we are very active in pursuing new projects with success. Did you hear the email bell for UW Green Bay, UW Oshkosh CLOW Nursing, and The Fields? Special congratulations to Kahler Slater Chicago for its first win! This is a very confidential and important project and we are sorry we cannot tell you about it. We want to brag, but the thick legal “Non-Disclosure Agreement” would not allow that. Big news coming!!!!

And congratulations to everyone on the 2020 AIA Wisconsin Merit Awards for the Hotel Northland and Oshkosh Community YMCA Addition. Two out of eight Wisconsin awards to Kahler Slater is really outstanding.

The MSO’s weekly audio concert and all previous concerts are available at: Musical Journeys.

Remember it takes just 30-60 days to form and sustain a new habit. Please post those new habits you are forming and sustaining to Kahler Slater Canvas https://www.kahlerslater.com/canvas. The Wellness Committee insists that you focus on new healthy habits. That extra drinking habit is not recommended.

Be healthy,

Jim and George


April 28 - COVID-19 UPDATE

John Horky • April 28, 2020

Hi All,

We hope everyone is well and is able to find some positives peeking out through all of this … the planet is demonstrating a resiliency to quickly heal, many families have become (literally) closer, closets are getting cleaned and more books are being read!

A reminder that you can find ALL past updates and important info on our special site: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid

  1. Return to Offices (RTO) Timing. Our current policy continues to be mandatory work from home in all offices. The RTO Work Group that launched last week is prioritizing the many issues we need to consider. However, we want to let you know the Executive Team and the Principals agreed yesterday that a target date for us to RTO (in Wisconsin) should be no earlier than June 1st, regardless if the State “opens” before that. The RTO team continues to monitor government directives in Illinois and Virginia that would inform our decisions on the respective dates to RTO in those states. For each office we will provide at least a two-week notice before a confirmed RTO date. E.g., We would give everyone in WI notice no later than 5/18, IF we are confident we can RTO in WI on 6/1.
    1. Additional Considerations Looking Ahead. When we do RTO, we do not anticipate it will be “business as usual.” There will be much more detail to come as we work it through. However, you might expect in general that:
    • Work from home will remain a choice for many as their personal circumstances require and the work assignments allow
    • Those who are sick, caring for someone who is sick or don’t have access to childcare due to COVID-19 may still need to take COVID leave time
    • We will likely limit the number of people in any office at a given time, including staff and visitors
    • Personal protective equipment may be required
    • We will continue to follow CDC guidelines, including frequent hand washing, social distancing, staying away from the office if you are sick, etc.
  2. NEW Facemask Protocol in All Offices. We are aware that while we are all working from home, some staff have had the occasional need to briefly stop in one of our offices, e.g., to pick up a necessary item. We have previously advised everyone regarding the mandatory protocols to enter any of our offices. (The attached placard is posted at the entry of each office; see also our above-linked COVID info site.) Starting immediately, an additional NEW requirement to enter any of our offices is that you must be wearing some type of facemask at all times.
  3. This Week’s Canvas Site Share Request. Please go to our Canvas site and share some pics of your favorite “quarantine projects.” Perhaps it’s a DIY home improvement, something you’ve been knitting, a cleaned-out closet, or a coveted “Teacher of the Month” award you were given by your kids. Submit as many pics as you like! Post them at our private website https://www.kahlerslater.com/canvas. And thank you for the many great submissions already!

As always, please share your suggestions and questions for future updates.

Kelly and John


Resiliency Again

George Meyer • April 23, 2020

All,

The next ALL STAFF get together, we are calling it “May Meet Up”, is Thursday, May 7. We have a full agenda and we will hear Kahler Slater news and how we are adapting to working remotely and together—all at the same time.

The Exec Team will continue to add their individual messages to you in the weeks to come. Here is Jim’s message:

Family First. I am grateful to be a son, brother, cousin, husband, father, uncle, grandfather….and hope to be a great grandfather someday. It’s not any safer now than it was before we started to quarantine. Be safe. Take care of yourself. Take care of your families. Family First.

Please keep this information confidential: We have received our CARES Act Small Business Association Paycheck Protection Plan (SBA PPP) loan. The SBA PPP loans are designed to help small companies like Kahler Slater keep staff on the payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic and manage some expenses. The PPP loan will also assist us in managing our cash flow since many of our clients are having difficulty paying us on time. The funds also will help us absorb unbudgeted time and expenses that are developing as our backlog continues to push out further. Currently the 3-month backlog has dipped below our target and the 6- and 12-month backlogs are above targets and yet lower than in March. Our clients’ needs are changing on a daily basis, so these numbers are changing.

For now, the spending freeze will stay in place. Principals and Executives will continue to have a portion of their pay deferred. 2019 bonuses will not be paid before July, if at all. The 401(k) decision will be made in late August regardless (understanding it’s a lower priority than a bonus for many employees).

On the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (eFMLA) leave, Erica has issued the information regarding those with the virus and those caring for someone with the virus. We have heard of no employee who has contracted the virus.

We are serious about taking PTO. The backlog appears to show a large amount of work for us to do in the last half of the year. We know that many of you are working 120% and have too many deadlines so taking PTO now would be difficult. If possible, ask for assistance. We have several people with time available because project schedules have pushed out. Now is a great time for some of you to take time off and work on the “deferred maintenance” list at home. We would hate to have everyone wanting to take PTO at the same time when we have a lot of deadlines.

Social distancing doesn't mean social isolation. Now, more than ever, we need to find smart ways to stay connected. One smart way is the UPAF campaign @4 on Friday. Join us tomorrow @4. You just may see some executives in costumes pretending to be performing artists.

Be healthy,

Jim and George


April 22 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • April 22, 2020

Hi Everyone,

We hope everyone is adapting well. We started our work from home adventure 5 weeks ago! Keep up the good social distancing work. What we are all doing is making a positive difference!

A reminder that you can find ALL past updates and important info on our special site: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid

  1. Following State Orders. Despite the protests you may be seeing on social media or TV, we are following the state guidelines in each and every state where our employees are located regarding Stay at Home orders or Safer at Home orders. This means that we continue our mandatory work from home. We are monitoring this closely and of course will keep you up to date with anything new.
  2. Return To the Offices Work Group. I am excited to report that while we don’t have a specific date for returning to our various offices, we have started a new work group that will be discussing all aspects of what it may take to return to our offices in a safe and effective manner. We met for the first time this week and we are tracking everything from office cleaning to protocols for returning, to office set up and much more. If you have specific suggestions or know of another similar company that has put their plans together, we would love to know about that. Our current work group includes: Glenn, Amber, Tony, Nicole, Sandra, Erica, and me.
  3. Important HR Updates. Erica has sent some very important updates regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This affects many of our staff members. Please see Erica’s emails for specific instruction. I have also asked that all of this information be put on the website noted above so you have everything in one convenient place.
  4. Fun from Home This Week. Please go to our Canvas site and share photos of your New “Co-workers.” People large and small; dogs, cats and fish (ok all animals); and inanimate objects are all welcome! It is up to you if you would like to be in the photo or not. You may submit as many as you like! Please use our private website https://www.kahlerslater.com/canvas Thank you for your great submissions from last week!!

As always, please share your suggestions and questions for future updates.

Kelly


FFCRA eFMLA FAQs and Sick Leave Due to COVID-19

Erica Chappelear • April 22, 2020

Hello Kahler Slater,

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became law on April 1st. The FFCRA provides special sick leave and “Expanded FMLA” (eFMLA) leaves for:

  1. Employees who contract the virus
  2. Employees who are caring for someone with the virus
  3. Employees who need to care for children due to the closure of daycares/schools, or the unavailability of other childcare providers due to COVID-19 (“virus”) concerns

If you want to explore the requirements of the FFCRA, please see the federal poster, located at on this page.

The intention of our first email on the FFCRA (4/9/20) and the follow-up Q&A session on 4/10/20 provided guidance on what Kahler Slater requires of our staff who are covered under Item 3 above; that is, those who are caring for a child/ren as a result of the loss of daycare/school/childcare due to COVID-19. Attached to this email is a follow-up FAQ in response to many (great) questions you asked on the topic.

Also attached to this email is our guidance on what Kahler Slater requires of our staff who are covered under either/both items 1 and 2 above; that is, those needing to request sick leave to care for themselves or to care for others in their household.

If none of the above items currently apply to you, you may stop reading now, but we advise you to hang onto this email for future reference.

What Kahler Slater is Doing

  • The firm’s current approach continues to be to exceed the minimum leave requirements enacted by the FFCRA. (See attached FAQ and new guidance docs.) We are currently paying staff per our salary policies in place. We are also allowing people to record eFMLA time in quarter-hour increments to provide maximum flexibility as you juggle work and personal / family caregiving priorities.

What You Need to Do

  • Same as before: If you have been recording or plan to record ANY leave time under the Kahler Slater COVID (Phase 30) code on your time sheet, you need to formally apply for this leave. See the instructions we sent on 4/9/20, as well as the attached FAQ.
  • NEW: If you have the need to record ANY sick leave time under the Kahler Slater COVID (Phases 10 and/or 20) code on your time sheet, you need to notify us. See the attached instructions and notification form.
  • As soon as you can, we need you to inform Employee Services and your team leader / staffing advocate of your plans, or your unexpected need, to reduce your work hours for ANY of the above situations. This continues to help your teams to distribute work assignments appropriately to meet all of our project commitments without having to overload anyone. So far, we believe we are (collectively) being as smart as we can regarding the planned availability and use of everyone’s work time, but that can only continue to work well if each of you is providing good data on your availability looking forward.

After having read this email and the attachments, if you still have any questions as to what you need to do, please ask John or me for assistance.

If there are enough new questions, we will either issue a follow-up FAQ or hold another Q&A session, as is warranted.

Take care,

Erica & John


Continued Resiliency

George Meyer • April 16, 2020

All,

The next staff meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 7. We are still looking for presentations. This is a great opportunity to share something you are working on (client project, internal project, GSD) with our staff. Please let George or Nicole know if you would like to make a presentation.

The Exec Team will continue to add their individual messages to you in the weeks to come. Here is Kelly’s message:

I thank each and every person for their extra effort during this time! I have seen many of our new small (but enthusiastic) “co-workers” on video calls and want you to know that we recognize the new balancing act for many of you as Kahler Slater employee, teacher, caregiver and in some cases referee! Personally, I am trying to appreciate the uniqueness of this moment and make the most of the situation. I am the classic person who says “I don’t have time to. . .” So I am grateful for a little extra time to cook, bake, walk, and spend time with my husband. As the primary caregiver for my parents who are particularly vulnerable to this virus, I am staying informed but trying hard not to “overdose” on news which only feeds the fear and doesn’t help anyone. Stay safe. I can’t wait until we can be back together.

On the Federal side, we submitted our application last week for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) thru the Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act. We are waiting for the funding. On the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (eFMLA) leave, early next week, Erica will provide information regarding those with the virus and those caring for someone with the virus. If you contract the virus or are caring for a family member with the virus, FFCA requires that Kahler Slater provide an additional two weeks of paid sick leave.

It appears that many of our clients are pushing current projects and new project starts out several months. We know many of you have missed your spring break with family and friends to accommodate this virus and our clients. We are encouraging everyone who is not overwhelmed with client demands currently to use as much PTO as possible as soon as possible. Clean that closet, paint that extra bedroom, start a new hobby, try yoga, organize your stuff, read a book, put on your Out of Office notice and disconnect from email and enjoy one day or two a week at home. We have some time now, as Kelly said above, please use it to do all those things you have been waiting to do. Based on our clients’ plans, it looks like it will be very busy this summer and fall. We would hate to have everyone wanting to take PTO when deadlines were approaching.

Take some time off to care for yourself and your stuff. We both will be off on Friday, making it a long weekend away from our electronic offices.

Jim and George


April 14 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • April 14, 2020

Hi Everyone,

Happy Tuesday!

Two updates for you and a reminder that you can find ALL past updates on our special site: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid

  1. PTO. We want you to know that we encourage everyone to use PTO during this time. Do that yard project, paint the guest room, and/or spend time with your family.
  2. Share Your “Quarantine” Experience. We have launched a private website for all of us to share photos, captions and have a little fun while we are apart.

Please use this site https://www.kahlerslater.com/canvas You may notice your Quarantini photo there already!

To get us started for this week, in the spirit of Jimmy Fallon, please submit:

My Quarantine in 6 words or less and, please add a photo to help illustrate your 6 word story about your “Safer at Home” experience.

We are eager to see your submissions. Have fun! (Yes, you can submit more than one.) We may select a few to share at our next staff meeting.

As always, please share your suggestions and questions for future updates.

Kelly


April 10 - COVID - 19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • April 10, 2020

Hi Everyone,

We have a very light update for you today. Please see Erica’s message from 5:41 PM yesterday 4/9/10 for some important information.

  1. COVID – 19 and Workplans. Here’s a quick edit to Ava’s April 7 email to everyone regarding Planning Time for COVID-19 related activities. If you have been using the COVID project number on your timesheet, or you need to plan time for any of the three phases, we ask that you be proactive and include that time in the workplan that Ava described. It’s important for us to understand the hours that you have available, or don’t have available for chargeable client work. As Ava advised, please do contact your staffing advocate or project manager. Inform them of the estimated # of hours/week that you’re using for COVID-19 activities, and project out for the next few weeks. If you’re not tracking time to COVID-19, that is fine.
  2. Security Camera in MKE office. To bolster security while we are away from the office, we are installing a Ring style camera at the front desk in the Milwaukee office. This is not intended as a watch dog for employees who might need to stop in to pick up something. It is so that we can be more aware of others potentially entering the office. We wanted you to know. Smile you will be on camera!

Have a great Easter weekend everyone!

Kelly


Kahler Slater's Process Regarding eFMLA and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Erica Chappelear • April 9, 2020

Hello Kahler Slater,

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) became law on April 1st. The FFCRA was designed to help small businesses (< 500 people) by providing resources to support “Expanded FMLA” (eFMLA) leaves for:

  1. Employees who need to care for children due to the closure of daycares/schools, or the unavailability of other childcare providers due to COVID-19 (“virus”) concerns
  2. Employees who contract the virus
  3. Employees who are caring for someone with the virus

If you want to explore the requirements of the FFCRA, please see the federal poster, located at https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid.

The intention of this email and the attached instructions is to provide guidance on what Kahler Slater requires of our staff who are covered under Item 1 above; that is, those who are caring for a child/ren as a result of the loss of daycare/school/childcare due to COVID-19. We will issue additional guidance in the next few days on the eFMLA requirements in regards to Items 2 and 3 above. In the meantime, if you need to take leave because you have/may have contracted the virus yourself, or because you need to care for someone who has/may have the virus, please contact Erica or John Horky immediately, who will assist you to navigate the paid sick leave options through the FFCRA.

If Item 1 above does not apply to you, you may stop reading.

What Kahler Slater is Doing

  • The firm is currently exceeding the minimum leave requirements enacted by the FFCRA. (See attached instructions.) We are currently paying staff per our salary policies in place. We are also allowing people to record eFMLA time in quarter-hour increments to provide maximum flexibility as you juggle work and family caregiving priorities.

What You Need to Do

  • If you have been recording or plan to record ANY leave time under the Kahler Slater COVID Phase 30 code on your time sheet, you need to formally apply for this leave. See attached instructions.
  • The hours you may record are limited under eFMLA. [NOTE: This is different than what John Horky announced at the 4/2/20 Leadership Group Meeting.] You need to review the attached instructions.
  • You may need to correct hours you previously recorded that weren’t in alignment with the new procedures. If so, please contact Financial Services to make any changes to past time sheets.
  • This memo provides direction on how to record your worked and eFMLA time on your time. It is also important to look forward, to inform work plans and project planning. If you haven’t already done so, please inform your team leader / staffing advocate in advance of your plans to reduce your work hours to care for your child/ren. This helps your teams to distribute work assignments appropriately to meet all of our project commitments without having to overload you or your teammates.

After having read this email and the attachments, if you still have any questions as to what you need to do, Erica and John Horky will be holding a Q&A session on Friday at 10:30 AM and will be sending out the invite shortly. If you can’t make that meeting, please send your Qs to Erica and John. We will compile, curate and provide to all a Kahler Slater FFCRA-eFMLA-FAQ. : )

Erica & John


Resiliency Quatro

George Meyer • April 9, 2020

All,

The staff meeting last week was such a big hit that we are scheduling an extra staff meeting on May 4. A planner will follow. Let George know if you would like to make a presentation. The agenda is quite open and we can try some different things. We are open to new ideas.

The Exec Team will continue to add their individual messages to you in the weeks to come. Here is Glenn’s message:

Communication: Stay in touch with your friends at work, about all the non-work stuff you typically would. There are many ways to do this for in-house chats; Skype instant messenger, Skype calls, teams and of course RingCentral.
Home Technology: If your home Wi-Fi network allows it, (google mesh Wi-Fi network is my example) prioritize your work machine so that any other network usage does not degrade your performance.

On the Federal side, we are making the application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding thru the Coronavirus Aid Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act. We have been ready to submit since the program opened a week ago. The process has been difficult and frustrating. Banks are processing single-owner companies for first. Our PPP application and back up materials have been ready to upload since last Friday. We are waiting for the bank to open the portal for multi-owner companies. On the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Expanded Family Medical Leave Act (eFMLA) leave, this week, Erica will be issuing information for those caring for children who are home from school or daycare. This will be guidance on the information you are required to provide to the firm and how to record your time. This is complex and important, please review it if you are one of those people. Next week, Erica will provide information regarding those with the virus and those caring for someone with the virus. Currently we know of no Kahler Slater employee who has the virus or is caring for someone with the virus.

We have been blessed with clients who want Kahler Slater to continue to provide services. We do see our backlog pushing out into the future. Our 3-month backlog continues to weaken and our 6-month backlog has strengthened. Monday’s Staffing Coordination meeting showed more people with availability than projects needing assistance. We are not sure how projects will proceed in the coming weeks, and we are hopeful that our clients will continue with projects. If you have completed your chargeable time, we have some ideas for you. Al developed this list of priorities for the HC team and we are recommending this to all teams:

  1. Support your team’s New Business Development, Marketing, PR or Thought Leadership Efforts (see your Team Leader and Marketing/BD people for more direction)
  2. Move your team’s Business Plan forward
  3. Build tools to support a firm-wide initiative or GSD
  4. Invest time in your own professional development

Let your Team Leader know if you need a new assignment. This is a great opportunity to build some new skills and to get to know your team business plan better.

This will pass. We are a strong company and we will survive.

Enjoy your marshmallow Peeps and chocolate bunnies.

Happy Easter,

Jim and George


April 6 Update

Kelly Gaglione • April 6, 2020

Hello Everyone,

I hope this email finds you well.

Thanks to everyone for doing your part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus! The best way we can Enrich Life and Achieve Powerful Results right now is to stay home and do all you can to stay healthy!!

A few updates for you and a reminder that you can find ALL past updates on our special site: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid

  1. Spending Freeze. As we shared at the Staff Meeting last week, to keep a close eye on expenses right now, we are on a Spending Freeze. This means that if you feel an expense is needed or makes sense for us at this time, you must get the approval of a member of the executive team to spend the money. Thank you for adhering to this.
  2. Contractual Obligations. If you know of any projects where for ANY reason we are not able to OR might not be able to fulfill our contractual obligations we are asking you to let your Team Leader know immediately. Examples of this might be: a contractor is not permitting visits to the job site, a deadline is missed or is close to being missed, you have a request from a client you can’t fulfill right now, you have an engineer that is not meeting deadlines or doing contracted site visits, etc.
  3. Access to Kahler Slater Milwaukee. To bolster security, we are asking our building manager to disable key card access for the “back stair” entrance to Kahler Slater. If you need to visit the office, you must enter through the “front” entrance closest to the elevators.

Thank you.

As always we welcome your questions.

John and Kelly


April 3 Update

Kelly Gaglione • April 3, 2020

Hi Everyone,

It was great having everyone at the Staff Meeting and Leadership Group Meeting yesterday. I’m pretty sure we beat any prior Staff Meeting attendance record!

Today, we have three items for you.

  1. Telemedicine Health Care Visits. In addition to our existing Teladoc service, we have temporarily amended our medical insurance plan to cover ALL tele or video visits with your healthcare providers. This coverage is effective retroactively from 3/15/2020 and, as of now, will last until 12/31/2020.
  2. Rules for Entering ANY Kahler Slater office. Essential businesses must have a posted document with the rules for entering a place of business. We have developed these rules and these are posted in every office. You will find them here COVID Office Rules (M:\KS\Tools\Covid\COVID-19 Office Rules.pdf). It is extremely important that every person follow these rules. This is for your safety. Also know that there are others that may enter our offices, so it is not only your colleagues, so be doubly careful if you need to go into the office to pick something up.
  3. Ergonomics and your chair. This is a reminder that we encourage you to pick up your office chair from the office if you don’t have a suitable chair at home. This goes for your monitors and any other office supplies you may need to make working at home as efficient and physically healthy as possible. We do recommend a thorough cleaning of anything you take into your home.
  4. Helping the “Cause.” One of our Health Care professional organizations is asking if we are doing anything to assist front line workers such as sewing and donating masks. Please let me know if you are currently involved in an effort such as this. Thank you.

Have a great weekend everyone! Remember those times when you said, we are SO busy, I am just wishing for a weekend at home? Well, we’ve got it! Let’s make the most of it.

John and Kelly


Resiliency 3

George Meyer • April 2, 2020

All,

Let me remind you of the Staff Meeting at 3:30 today. The 15 presenters conducted a “technology rehearsal” yesterday and we are ready for our first all company conference call. We can all join, but we only have 15 video feeds. So join, watch and listen to the staff meeting. Remember BYOQ (Bring Your Own Quarantini)

The Exec Team will be adding their individual messages to our message in the weeks to come. Here is Al’s message:

Thanks for putting your energy into balancing work from home and living from home. This time for me reinforces how social we really are, and should be for daily health. Interact intentionally whenever you can. Social distance, but without isolation, and then compensate for this by taking care of your own daily health. Walk around during the day, stretch, get outside and get some fresh air, walk the dog, do some yardwork, and find healthy balance. Thanks for all you are doing!

On a sad and personal note from George, many of you know my mom passed away in January at age 93. Last week my father passed away at age 90. They were married for 63 years and really only spent the last two months apart. They are both happier now. I was in Ohio to see my dad on March 12. We were together for a couple hours before the assisted living center adopted its no visitor policy. He was happy and healthy when I saw him. He fell a few days later and did not recover. A celebration of his life will be scheduled at a later date.

Stay safe and take care of your loved ones.

Jim and George


March 27 - COVID-19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • March 27, 2020

Happy Friday Kahler Slater!

We hope you have a good weekend ahead.

Here is your latest COVID-19 update.

For today, we have some IMPORTANT NEW things and a RECAP to ensure that you have the latest guidelines that we are asking everyone to follow. Here goes:

NEW

  1. Essential Business. Kahler Slater’s interpretation of the State of Wisconsin’s Safer at Home Order is that Kahler Slater provides Professional Services as an Essential Business Exempt from the Order. An Exempt Essential Business is still required in all cases to:
    1. Use Technology to avoid meeting in person; including virtual meetings, teleconferences, and remote work
    2. Follow DHS and CDC guidelines
    3. Comply with Social Distancing Requirements
  2. Exemptions to staying at home allow the following:
    1. Some of our staff may need to travel to one of our offices and perform essential business operations; for example IT, accounting, and sealing documents for submission to authorities.
    2. Some of our staff may need to travel to construction sites and conduct construction administration site visits when virtual visits are not able to meet our contractual requirements or professional standard of care.
    3. See the Travel Letter in this link Kahler Slater Travel Letter (K:\KS Shared\Employee Services\Tools\COVID19\Travel Letter 20-0326.pdf) which you can print and use if you need to travel for either of these reasons. Keep this with you as you travel away from your home. If you do not have access to a home printer, contact Nicole to have a copy mailed to you. Or, if your essential travel includes a trip to the office, print the letter while there for future travel needs. Note you will also need to have a Kahler Slater business card and personal identification with you. If you need to travel for these reasons and don’t have a business card with you please ask Nicole to create a custom letter for you.
    4. If you are providing construction administration phase services and would typically be making a construction site visit for an active project, please review this link COVID 19 Construction Site Visit Protocol (K:\KS Shared\Employee Services\Tools\COVID19\Construction Site Visit Protocol.pdf) for Kahler Slater’s COVID-19 Construction Site Visit Protocol.
  3. Reminder to utilize Teladoc. To those of you on our medical insurance plan, please recall we added Teladoc (a telemedicine service) to our plan on 1/1/2020. We strongly encourage you to leverage Teladoc. However, given the stresses on the entire healthcare system nationwide, you might experience longer than usual wait times, either with Teladoc or at an in-person care site. Some tips for using Teladoc are:
    1. If you’re new to using Teladoc, start by visiting their website for answers to frequently asked questions.
    2. For fastest support, Teladoc encourages members to contact them by mobile App or web. You can download the App on the App Store or Google Play.
    3. Before your first virtual visit, you will need to set up a Teladoc account and share your medical history on the app or on their account set up page. Completing this step in advance accelerates visit requests.
    4. Teladoc is trying to manage unexpected wait times on their web and App with a wait time estimator, to help you anticipate the expected time for a callback from a doctor.

RECAP of Things you NEED to know

Here are very important points culled from our last several updates. As you know, we are taking our guidance from city, state and federal officials including the CDC. More CDC information here, CDC Business Guidelines

  1. Working from Home. On March 17, we began requiring everyone to work from home. We will be working from home until further notice. We are following city, state, and federal guidelines. We are sure all of you are aware of the new State of Wisconsin Safer at Home Order.
  2. No Public Transit (plane, bus, train) Travel for Business. We have banned all travel via public transportation for business purposes. If you choose to travel personally, you must inform John or me and we will create a plan for a 14 day minimum self-quarantine after you return.
  3. All offices will be locked, however you still have access to the offices via your key card or key, in case you need to stop into the office to pick up a forgotten item or print something, etc. No staff member will be allowed to work in the office. Further, you are NOT ALLOWED in the office under any circumstance if you are sick, or if you think / feel you “might be coming down with something.”
  4. Testing Positive. In the unfortunate situation that you or someone with whom you have had close contact tests positive for the virus, we ask you to consider the health and safety of your co-workers and inform us immediately. If you have contracted COVID -19 or you have been exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 , we will minimally require a 14 day minimum self-quarantine.
  5. No visitors. We are not allowing any visitors to the office unless it is project essential and pre-approved by one of the members of the executive team.
  6. Expecting you to use Skype for Business to show your presence or status and for employee to employee instant messaging. During this time, we are also expecting EVERYONE to be using Skype for Business when you are working. Skype for Business is a primary communication tool in the office and we need to be using it to its fullest right now. If you are not currently using this, please seek help from helpdesk to get up and running.
  7. Project Meetings. We are asking every project team to have a regular project check in every week via RingCentral meetings. PM’s please set these up.
  8. Timesheets – New Project/Codes. We have set up a new Project for your timesheets in Vision for the COVID - 19 virus. The purpose of this project is to collect time that is associated with the virus in response to the new legislation passed by Congress. Baker Tilly will tell us soon if we are eligible for Federal Funds and what the guidance is on the time. They do not understand the legal terms of the legislation yet but they have advised us that three types of time may qualify for some firms associated with the virus.

    We have three different phase codes for this project:

    Overhead Project:

    COVID

    Phase Codes:

    10: Leave for having COVID-19 myself

    20: Leave for caring for my family with COVID-19

    30: Leave to care for my children due to school/daycare closure for COVID-19

    We hope no one needs to use phase 10 and 20!! However, please use them if you do. We are sure that many of us will record some time to phase 30. For example, if you work from home on a school day and you worked on Kahler Slater stuff for 5 hours in one day, then you should record 4 hours of Phase 30 time to take care of your kids if their school/daycare was closed due to COVID-19. This is not PTO. If you wish, you can take a day of PTO if you are not working on a school day. The choice is yours; you know if you are working or on PTO. Sorry, no phase 30 time allowed to care for your dog because doggie daycare was canceled. Your dog just wants to take another walk with you. Sorry no phase 30 time is allowed to care for your grandkids or neighbor kids. You can care for your significant other’s kids under Phase 30. Please add this Project to your time sheet for this week and while we’re working from home, and record any time you spend in these phases. Given the newly passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act we are evaluating how this time will be counted toward your total hours in 2020 and will provide more information soon.

  9. Special Circumstances/Schedules. If your situation requires additional time off, please know that the following may be options for you, please discuss your personal situation with John Horky. Family Medical Leave (if you are caring for a sick family member), Reduction of your FTE, Temporary Leave of Absence, and of course using your PTO. Congress is also talking about small/medium businesses and potentially making new programs available. We are monitoring this closely and will share how this will affect our options going forward.
  10. Other Tips.
    1. Follow current CDC guidelines for seeking medical attention and seek medical care early. (Information is regularly updated on their website).
    2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Find the proper hand washing fact sheet here.
    3. Use hand sanitizer if you are not able to wash your hands.
    4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    5. Sneeze into a tissue and throw it away or if that is not available, sneeze into your elbow vs your hands. cough and sneeze etiquette
    6. Please keep your work surfaces clean.
    7. Maintain a “social distance” of a 6 feet minimum.

As always, please share updates, thoughts and suggestions with us.

John and Kelly


Resiliency 2

George Meyer • March 27, 2020

Hello Everyone,

We know you all have a lot on your plates in addition to our work and clients. In asking how people are feeling, we are hearing: isolated, optimistic, scared, concerned, grateful, introspective, and unsure. All are unexpected and real feelings. We have seen the dogs, cats and children on the video conferencing; we have felt maxed out on video conferencing; many of us have concerns about loved ones who are ill and we are not available to be with them; we see small businesses re-tooling to provide carry out, and we are all struggling to provide everything on-line.

We have received several questions about 2019 bonuses and 401(k) matches. We do not know yet. We are not canceling these, we are just waiting to decide. We are unsure of cash flow from our clients. Our backlog remains very strong. A few projects have pushed out. A few projects have accelerated. We need some time to understand our clients’ needs coming out of this crisis. For these reasons, we are delaying a decision on paying bonuses and 401(k) match.

With Governor Ever’s “Safer at Home” Emergency Order issued this week, the closing of our offices will correspond with the timing from the Governor until 8:00 a.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020 at the earliest. So, without being together in the office, we are having a virtual staff meeting this coming Thursday as a 125 person Ring Central Meeting. We have room for everyone to call in. This should be interesting. Bring Your Own Quarantini (BYOQ).

Our recommendations to you are:

  • Introverts, please put down the book and call your extrovert friends. They are not doing well with this.
  • Spend more time listening/watching the news about people making a difference in the community, caring for others, and making progress. This is an opportunity to transform so many things in our lives.
  • Keep calm with the Health and Wellness Committee newsletters.

We deeply appreciate all you are doing to keep Kahler Slater moving forward in these challenging times,

Have a good, healthy weekend.

Optimistically Yours,

Jim and George

We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival.
— Winston Churchill

March 24 - COVID-19 UPDATE

Kelly Gaglione • March 24, 2020

Hello Kahler Slater – We hope that everyone is doing well during week 2 of working from home!

Here is your latest COVID-19 update. We are no longer numbering our UPDATES, we are dating them. Also, you can find all past UPDATES along with Erica’s video on how to work at home on this site: https://www.kahlerslater.com/covid

For today, we have NEW things and a RECAP to ensure that you have the latest guidelines that we are asking everyone to follow. Here goes:

NEW

  1. In a spirit of Openness and transparency, if/when we have information about a staff member that has been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 we will tell you what we know, when we know. Experts agree that information sharing and then acting on it, is one of the best ways we can stop the spread of this virus. In addition, some clients are requiring notification of diagnosis or exposure so it is important for that reason as well.
  2. We want you to know that we are monitoring this situation very closely. The Team Leaders and PM’s are meeting twice a week to share information on our projects, backlog, staffing levels, etc. Our Executive Team and John Horky continue to meet daily. We are attending helpful local and national webinars to gain guidance.
  3. Our awesome “Fostering Innovation” GSD led by Chris Ludwig and Paul Bestul have offered to focus some of their time in the next few weeks on helping all of us to leverage technology to have better meetings, etc. from our home offices. Please look for some updates from them and also send them your suggestions, questions. If you are having a technical issue that requires innovation, please contact Paul and Chris. Thank you Chris and Paul!

RECAP of Things you NEED to know

Here are very important points culled from our last several updates. As you know, we are taking our guidance from city, state and federal officials including the CDC. More CDC information here, CDC Business Guidelines

  1. Working from Home. On March 17, we began requiring everyone to work from home. We will be working from home until further notice. We are following city, state, and federal guidelines. We are sure all of you are aware of the new State of Wisconsin Safer at Home Order. early information about safer at home order wisconsin
  2. No Public Transit (plane, bus, train) Travel for Business. We have banned all travel via public transportation for business purposes. If you choose to travel personally, you must inform John or me and we will create a plan for a 14 day minimum self-quarantine after you return.
  3. All offices will be locked, however you still have access to the offices via your key card or key, in case you need to stop into the office to pick up a forgotten item or print something, etc. No staff member will be allowed to work in the office. Further, you are NOT ALLOWED in the office under any circumstance if you are sick, or if you think / feel you “might be coming down with something.”
  4. Testing Positive. In the unfortunate situation that you or someone with whom you have had close contact tests positive for the virus, we ask you to consider the health and safety of your co-workers and inform us immediately. If you have contracted COVID -19 or you have been exposed to a person who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 , we will minimally require a 14 day minimum self-quarantine.
  5. No visitors. We are not allowing any visitors to the office unless it is project essential and pre-approved by one of the members of the executive team.
  6. Expecting you to use Skype for Business to show your presence or status and for employee to employee instant messaging. During this time, we are also expecting EVERYONE to be using Skype for Business when you are working. Skype for Business is a primary communication tool in the office and we need to be using it to its fullest right now. If you are not currently using this, please seek help from helpdesk to get up and running.
  7. Project Meetings. We are asking every project team to have a regular project check in every week via RingCentral meetings. PM’s please set these up.
  8. Timesheets – New Project/Codes. We have set up a new Project for your timesheets in Vision for the COVID - 19 virus. The purpose of this project is to collect time that is associated with the virus in response to the new legislation passed by Congress. Baker Tilly will tell us soon if we are eligible for Federal Funds and what the guidance is on the time. They do not understand the legal terms of the legislation yet but they have advised us that three types of time may qualify for some firms associated with the virus.

    We have three different phase codes for this project:

    Overhead Project:

    COVID

    Phase Codes:

    10: Leave for having COVID-19 myself

    20: Leave for caring for my family with COVID-19

    30: Leave to care for my children due to school/daycare closure for COVID-19

    We hope no one needs to use phase 10 and 20!! However, please use them if you do. We are sure that many of us will record some time to phase 30. For example, if you work from home on a school day and you worked on Kahler Slater stuff for 5 hours in one day, then you should record 4 hours of Phase 30 time to take care of your kids if their school/daycare was closed due to COVID-19. This is not PTO. If you wish, you can take a day of PTO if you are not working on a school day. The choice is yours; you know if you are working or on PTO. Sorry, no phase 30 time allowed to care for your dog because doggie daycare was canceled. Your dog just wants to take another walk with you. Sorry no phase 30 time is allowed to care for your grandkids or neighbor kids. You can care for your significant other’s kids under Phase 30. Please add this Project to your time sheet for this week and while we’re working from home, and record any time you spend in these phases. Given the newly passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act we are evaluating how this time will be counted toward your total hours in 2020 and will provide more information soon.

  9. Special Circumstances/Schedules. If your situation requires additional time off, please know that the following may be options for you, please discuss your personal situation with John Horky. Family Medical Leave (if you are caring for a sick family member), Reduction of your FTE, Temporary Leave of Absence, and of course using your PTO. Congress is also talking about small/medium businesses and potentially making new programs available. We are monitoring this closely and will share how this will affect our options going forward.
  10. Other Tips.
    1. Follow current CDC guidelines for seeking medical attention and seek medical care early. (Information is regularly updated on their website).
    2. Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Find the proper hand washing fact sheet here.
    3. Use hand sanitizer if you are not able to wash your hands.
    4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
    5. Sneeze into a tissue and throw it away or if that is not available, sneeze into your elbow vs your hands. cough and sneeze etiquette
    6. Please keep your work surfaces clean.
    7. Maintain a “social distance” of a 6 feet minimum.

As always, please share updates, thoughts and suggestions with us.

John and Kelly


Tips for Working from Home during COVID-19

Erica Chappelear • March 21, 2020

Happy weekend Kahler Slater!

I hope you are all taking a step back this weekend. As you gear up for next week, we wanted to share some of the best tips and finding balance and success in our new work spaces both physical and virtual.

I’ve narrated a presentation – kick back with a cup of coffee or tea for 12 minutes. Or feel free to just look through the slides themselves. Both links are below.

Video

https://web.microsoftstream.com/video/726c9384-8cd6-438d-a5d6-f485a43ce11c

Slides

Work-from-home-guide.pptx

Here’s to a successful second week of a total remote workforce!

Erica


Quarantini

Kelly Gaglione • March 20, 2020
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Update #7

Kelly Gaglione • March 20, 2020

Hello Kahler Slater Home Office Network -

Don’t forget about our virtual Friday@4 Happy Hour today at 4:00 PM. Please email a photo capturing your version of Quarantini @4 to photos@kahlerslater.com

I hope to see your fun photos from today and maybe over the weekend too. A collage coming soon!

  1. Principals Met Today. The principals met today to work together to get a handle on the current situation, share what clients, contractors, etc., are doing and saying during this time. We discussed many topics and are staying extremely close to the situation. One of our topics was, “How is our staff doing?” The report was that our staff members are doing a remarkable job carrying on from their new home offices. This is a testament to the spirit of Kahler Slater. Thanks everyone!
  2. Timesheets – New Project/Codes. We have set up a new Project for your timesheets in Vision for the COVID - 19 virus. The purpose of this project is to collect time that is associated with the virus in response to the new legislation passed by Congress. Baker Tilly will tell us soon if we are eligible for Federal Funds and what the guidance is on the time. They do not understand the legal terms of the legislation yet but they have advised us that three types of time may qualify for some firms associated with the virus.

We have three different phase codes for this project:

Overhead Project:

COVID

Phase Codes:

10: Leave for having COVID-19 myself

20: Leave for caring for my family with COVID-19

30: Leave to care for my children due to school/daycare closure for COVID-19

We hope no one needs to use phase 10 and 20!! However, please use them if you do. We are sure that many of us will record some time to phase 30. For example, if you work from home on a school day and you worked on Kahler Slater stuff for 5 hours in one day, then you should record 4 hours of Phase 30 time to take care of your kids if their school/daycare was closed due to COVID-19. This is not PTO. If you wish, you can take a day of PTO if you are not working on a school day. The choice is yours; you know if you are working or on PTO. Sorry, no phase 30 time allowed to care for your dog because doggie daycare was canceled. Your dog just wants to take another walk with you. Sorry no phase 30 time is allowed to care for your grandkids or neighbor kids. You can care for your significant other’s kids under Phase 30. Please add this Project to your time sheet for this week and while we’re working from home, and record any time you spend in these phases. Given the newly passed Families First Coronavirus Response Act we are evaluating how this time will be counted toward your total hours in 2020 and will provide more information soon.

  1. More Clicking Caution. Please be careful if/when you are checking your home email on your Kahler Slater computer. Be very mindful of attachments, who the email is coming from, etc. We don’t want to put Kahler Slater’s data at risk.
  2. Bandwidth. As we all know, we need all of the bandwidth we can get right now! Please do not stream music or videos on Kahler Slater equipment which eats up our bandwidth and slows everyone down. Even though we are working from home and using our personal Wi-Fi to connect, all Kahler Slater laptops establish a tunnel through that Wi-Fi to maintain a secure, direct link to our network. If, for example, you chose to stream a movie/music during your lunch break, please switch to your personal computer to do so. Your coworkers thank you.
  3. Yammer. Yes, Yammer. I am working with Nicole right now to provide directions for using Yammer. If we all use it, Yammer can be a great platform for us to share information and be the “community” that we are, when we can’t physically be in person. I will send those instructions soon.

It is almost the weekend. Kick it off right with your Quarantini and have a good weekend everyone!

John and Kelly


Update #6

Kelly Gaglione • March 18, 2020

Good Morning!

  1. Home Officing. Hello to our new Kahler Slater Work at Home Network! We hope everyone is settling in. We know this can be challenging – your plus 1’s, kids, dogs, cats, etc. Please know that we ALL understand dogs barking and kids asking for things in the background of virtual meetings. Of course we will all try to use mute as much as possible but we get it! Also, we know it can be very challenging to get your work done in your new situation. We want you all to take care of yourselves and your family first and be productive as possible under the circumstances. We remind you that we do NOT look at hours per week (especially right now). We look at hours per year. Please do not stress yourselves out by trying to achieve 45 hours each week while also being a teacher for your kids, daycare provider, etc. We trust you to do your best to balance all of the demands on you, it is all we have ever asked of anyone! Please put on your timesheet the hours actually worked each day.
  2. No (plane, bus, train) Travel for Business. Effective immediately, we are banning all travel via public transportation for business purposes. If you choose to travel personally, you must inform John or me and we will create a plan for a 14 day minimum self-quarantine after you return.
  3. Share your mobile with team members. Several people do not have their mobile numbers published in our handy directory If this is the case, please consider sharing your personal mobile number with your team AND if you find yourself texting someone from the office that you would not normally, please share your name in the text to identify yourself!
  4. Cyber Security. Our IT people are telling us that hackers just love all of these people working from home. Please be extra vigilant of email hacking, spoofing and/or phishing. Phishers often send links via email or text that look legitimate, but once clicked on, allow them to steal your information. Email attachments that contain malware are also popular vessels for cyber mayhem. The easiest way to avoid these scams is by not clicking the links or attachments. As a general rule, never open links or download attachments from unknown senders. With the extent of work-from-home today, people are sending more attachments. Do not open an email attachment that you are not expecting. Verify that the email address actually came from the person you think it is from. Check to see if the email address in the parentheses is the same as the person sending. This will also help you catch one of the more notorious types of phishing emails—the fake password reset (for example, “Your account has been compromised! Click here to reset your login and password.”) Remember the 2016 Democratic National Convention email leak? It started as a fake password reset.
  5. Good News! Ok, so we can all use a little good news. Melinda was featured yesterday in InBusiness Magazine in Madison. When things cool down a bit we will share over social media. Nice job Melinda. And it just so happens to be Kim Bruffy’s birthday today. (and maybe others but I know Kim for sure!) Happy Birthday Kim. I hope your family enjoys your birthday treats.

As always, your suggestions, thoughts, and questions are welcome. The Exec Team and John are meeting every day to keep a close eye on the situation.

John and Kelly


Tips on Working Remote!

Erica Chappelear • March 17, 2020

Hi Kahler Slater,

For some of you working remote can be a normal day. For others, coming to an office each day is a routine and comfort. Either way, being completely remote for a time can be a big change. Being productive in a time of uncertainty can be very helpful so I wanted to share a resource that came across my desk. LinkedIn learning is currently providing several classes you might find useful for free to help adjust to working from home, structuring your day, time management, and staying productive. While there are many sources for this, LinkedIn Learning is one of the more credible ones.

Check out the courses here:

https://learning.linkedin.com/blog/productivity-tips/new-to-working-remotely--these-resources-can-help

Here’s to staying well and keeping others around you well too!

Erica


Update #5

Kelly Gaglione • March 17, 2020

Hello Everyone,

Here is your UPDATE #5.

We just finished a call with the Executive Team and John Horky. After discussing yesterday’s Federal, County, and City recommendations, we have decided the following:

  1. Required Work from Home. For the health and safety of our employees, our families and the community, we are requiring everyone to work from home as soon as possible but no later than 3:00 PM today, March 17. Our expected return date will be April 1st, but we will monitor the situation closely. Kahler Slater remains open for business during this time and we will do our work virtually, creatively and continue to be productive. We understand that we have some contractual obligations that may require travel or visiting a job site, please contact your team leader for specific direction.
  2. All offices will be locked, however you still have access to the offices via your key card or key, in case you need to stop into the office to pick up a forgotten item or print something, etc.
  3. Passwords. Reminder, if your computer has notified you that you are in the 30 day window where you are being reminded to reset your password, email IT and schedule a time for IT to call you to assist you in changing your password remotely. If your password expires, you will need to physically go to the office to change your password. Also, we are not pushing out any new software during this time, normal updates will happen at home and make take longer than normal. Please reboot daily. Our helpdesk function is fully virtually accessible during this time.
  4. Expecting you to use Skype for Business. During this time, we are also expecting EVERYONE to be using Skype for Business when you are working. Skype for Business is a primary communication tool in the office and we need to be using it to its fullest right now. If you are not currently using this, please seek help from helpdesk to get up and running.
  5. Project Meetings. We are asking every project team to have a regular project check in every week via RingCentral meetings. PM’s please set these up.

During these unusual times, please focus on your health, on your families and doing your best to be productive. We are Kahler Slater. We are strong. We will get through this together! As always, please send questions, ideas, etc. to John Horky and me.

John and Kelly


Update #4

Kelly Gaglione • March 16, 2020

Hi Everyone,

Here is your COVID-19 UPDATE #4.

I want you to know that the Executive Team and John met on Friday, we met this morning and we will meet as often as needed to continue closely monitoring the situation and make decisions. In fact, the President and his team just concluded today’s press conference and we have not discussed that as of yet. If you have any question, thought, suggestion, please share with John and me so that we can answer and/or discuss as an Exec Team.

Thank you also for your positive attitudes, your messages of support and for sharing your creative plans for remaining productive! I’m not surprised, this is Kahler Slater!

Please re-read the previous 3 updates, here are some additional items for you:

  1. Working from Home. NEW – If you are working mostly from home, we encourage you to take your monitor, docking station, keyboard, mouse, office supplies, etc. whatever you feel you need in order to be productive. Please do this right away.
  2. Our offices.
    1. Please wash your hands upon entering the office and before touching anything in the office. Use your body (not hands) to open the doors to the restrooms and use a paper towel to open the door upon leaving the restrooms
    2. Also reminder we are not allowing any visitors to the office unless it is project essential.
  3. Social Distancing. The CDC recommends putting distance between yourself and others. 6 feet apart is the ideal. If you are in the office, we want everyone practicing social distancing as much as possible. If you need to temporarily move your desk please talk to us and we will figure out how to make that happen. If you need to look at drawings with another person, do it virtually OR go to a large conference room and use the screen in the room while you are sitting apart. George found an interesting article over the weekend that shows the clear benefits of social distancing. simulator article
  4. Special Circumstances/Schedules. If your situation requires additional time off, please know that the following may be options for you, please discuss your personal situation with John Horky. Family Medical Leave (if you are caring for a sick family member), Reduction of your FTE, Temporary Leave of Absence, and of course using your PTO. We realized that some people may not be aware that there are options so we wanted to share. Congress is also talking about small/medium businesses and potentially making new programs available. We are monitoring this closely and will share how this will affect our options going forward.
  5. Where is Everyone? Given that we all will be challenged to know each other’s status and location day-to-day, we are creating a shared Google doc so we can share with each other / the firm where we plan to be working, or not, (home/office/PTO, etc.) on a week-at-a-glance basis. I’ll let you know once that is up and running. Just like the time sheet deadline, it will be expected that everyone will update their weekly status by 9am Monday morning.
  6. April Staff Meeting. We will hold our first ALL virtual Staff Meeting. More information will follow on how to connect, etc.
  7. Extraordinary 2019 PTO Carryover. Some of you received permission to carry over extra PTO thru 3/31/2020, in many cases with the intention to use those days for family Spring Break trips, which may not be happening now. John Horky will contact you individually to discuss a new plan.

John and Kelly


Update #3

Kelly Gaglione • March 13, 2020

Hi Everyone,

What a week. Because the COVID-19 situation is quite fluid, John and I will be updating you frequently. For example, know widespread school closings will affect many of our employees.

Our emails from March 3 and March 12 are still valid, and we are adding the following updated information.

Please know, that everything we are doing is because we care about the health and well-being of our employees, your families and the community at large. We all need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  1. Offices. We are keeping the offices open for now. We are monitoring the situation very closely.
  2. Working from home. We all recognize it is typically most effective to work from the office, however due to COVID-19 and personal circumstances you may choose to work from home. If you are planning on working at home for an extended period (more than a day or two), we are asking you to check in with your team leader to determine how you will meet your responsibilities from home. We ask you to do this now, and weekly as we move forward. We know you have to take care of your families and we have to take care of our clients as well. As our projects progress forward, we need to fulfill our responsibilities and get the work done so we all need to remain as productive as possible at this time.
  3. Your laptops. Effective immediately, we are requiring staff to take your laptops home every night in case of an overnight change in the situation. Please pay close attention to your password updating. This NEEDS to be done in office. If you have a notification that your password is expiring in 30 days, please change that in the office ASAP.
  4. Travel.
    1. Until further notice, we are suspending all international travel for Kahler Slater business.
    2. Effective immediately, we are suspending all non-client project-related travel
    3. Minimize client related travel and meetings; if you must go, take the fewest number of essential staff. (Please use our technology and add others virtually)
    4. Personal travel is your choice.
      • If you have traveled internationally in the last two weeks, notify John Horky as soon as possible. You may need to self-quarantine for at least 14 days
      • If you have traveled (within the last two weeks) or travel to a current domestic hotspot (New York, California, Washington, Massachusetts – but updating frequently) notify John Horky as soon as possible; you may be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. See this page https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html for current hotspots.
  5. In Office Meetings.
    1. Effective immediately, visits to all Kahler Slater offices are suspended unless essential for projects. Whenever possible have a virtual meeting.
    2. We are suspending all Lunch and Learns, Ted Talks, Volunteer activities and other similar non-essential meetings for March and April and will evaluate future months.
    3. We ask that if you need to travel between Milwaukee and Chicago that you drive your personal vehicle vs. taking public transportation.
    4. When you do have meetings in the office, please schedule a room larger than your group size so to allow distance between participants.
  6. COVID-19 Testing. Please know that if your health care provider determines you need a test, and you are on our insurance, COVID‐19, testing and/or the associated office visit will be paid at 100% (preventive care), at all places of service.
  7. Testing Positive. In the unfortunate situation that you or someone in your home tests positive for the virus, by law, we cannot require you to inform us, however we ask you to consider the health and safety of your co-workers and inform us immediately.

Please reach out to John Horky or me with any questions/concerns or clarifications you may need. We will continue to update as frequently as necessary.

We will get through this. Please continue to be positive and supportive of your co-workers!

John and Kelly


Update #2

Kelly Gaglione • March 12, 2020

Hi Everyone –

The email I sent on March 3 (see below) is still valid and we are adding more. Here are several IMPORTANT COVID-19 updates:

  1. We continue to follow the guidance of the CDC for direction re: COVID–19 regarding businesses. More information here, CDC Business Guidelines. Here is the general CDC website on COVID-19 with lots of information on risks, hand washing, etc., CDC Coronavirus website.
  2. New POLICY: Kahler Slater staff and any person who works in any of our offices may NOT travel to any area restricted by the CDC including China, Iran, South Korea and Italy. This is a very fluid situation that is subject to change and we will follow CDC guidelines. Kahler Slater clients like Mayo Clinic are now requiring any company who works for them to ban travel to these areas.
  3. You may not work in the office if you are sick, or if you think / feel you “might be coming down with something.” This is a new and explicit expectation of our healthcare clients (Mayo Clinic and soon others), who are protecting their populations, knowing that our staff are visiting their campuses. We all must be mindful of protecting others at this time; including some of our own peers (and their families) who currently have compromised immune systems. Do not be a short-term project hero. You will be sent home if any team leader or executive team member feels it is unwise for you to be working in the office setting.
  4. If you knowingly come in contact with COVID-19, you must notify John Horky and you will be asked to stay home for minimally two weeks. Most employees have the ability work from home, but we will evaluate the ability to fulfill your responsibilities on a case-by-case basis.
  5. In case of the potential need for any of our staff to self-quarantine, our pharmacy benefits manager is relaxing its refill rules. See attached.
  6. Kahler Slater’s cleaning crew in Milwaukee is enhancing their efforts to keep our office clean with daily cleaning of door handles, and other frequently used surfaces.
  7. Please do your part and clean your desk frequently and also clean your computer. TJ ordered SCREEN KLEEN and KEY KLEEN for us. He said this can be used on ALL Kahler Slater computers. In the MKE office, you can find this in KS Kinkos near the other cleaning supplies. Other offices will get a supply, if you don’t already have it on hand.

We are all in this together! Let’s stay positive. Please share any new information or questions with John Horky or me.

Kelly


Update #1

Kelly Gaglione • March 3, 2020

Hi Everyone –

Assuming you have been following the Coronavirus/COVID-19 in the news.

While the CDC monitors the situation, let’s do what we can to limit the spread of all respiratory infections and while we are at it, all illnesses! Here are some important guidelines:

(most of this information came from the CDC’s page on guidance for businesses)

  • Do not come to work if you are sick. Please let your team leader know. If you wish to work from home, contact your team leader to make arrangements to have your computer delivered to your home. Stay home until you no longer have a fever or any outward symptoms for 24 hours. (COVID-19: fever, coughing, shortness of breath)
  • Follow current CDC guidelines for seeking medical attention and seek medical care early. (Information is regularly updated on their website).
  • If you are visiting or caring for a sick family member with COVID-19 at your home or elsewhere, you must notify your team leader and the executive team. We will then discuss plans based on CDC guidelines.
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Find the proper hand washing fact sheet here.
  • Use hand sanitizer if you are not able to wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Sneeze into a tissue and throw it away or if that is not available, sneeze into your elbow vs your hands. cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Please keep your work surfaces clean. We have cleaning supplies in KS Kinkos in Milwaukee and in all offices.
  • Regarding Travel: the CDC is not currently restricting travel within the U.S., however if you are scheduled for a trip and you are uncomfortable about going, please speak with your team leader or anyone on the exec team. Of course, do not travel if you are feeling ill. If you have any international travel planned please inform someone on the executive team so that we can take appropriate action upon your return. Of course, any travel to destinations on the CDC warning lists is not advised (see update above).
  • When out in the world, maintain a “social distance” of a few feet when around persons who have symptoms of a respiratory illness.
  • While COVID-19 is not the flu, the CDC recommends you get a flu vaccine and promote the flu vaccine to your friends and family.

We are putting tissue and hand sanitizer in each conference room. Please share any other helpful ideas.

Thank you all!