AUSTIN, Texas — Most businesses, if not all, have been preparing to reopen for a while and employees from some companies have been slowly making their way into offices with new rules in place. Gov.Greg Abbott announced on Monday that 25% of staff, or up to 10 employees, can go back to work in office buildings, provided that proper social distancing practices are enforced.
Natiivo Austin employees have been allowing employees inside their building since May 1 and have slowly implemented more safety precautions. Their sales manager said regardless of the major changes, it feels good to be back in a workspace away from home.
"It's hard for us because we're in the customer service industry, so we want to shake your hand. We want to say hi and make you feel welcome. So, we're really just trying to keep our distance when they walk in," said Denise Bodman.
Natiivo asks clients and potential clients to take a questionnaire asking if they have symptoms or if they've traveled anywhere. They also have masks ready for anyone who needs it.
"We are just so happy to be at work and just kind of in this environment. It was a little gloomy to be working from home and not be with your team all the time," said Bodman.
Companies aren't required to open offices and let employees inside, but Gov. Abbott said if a company chooses to do so, the state recommends to train employees on cleaning, disinfection and hand hygiene. The health protocol shows employers should also screen employees and send home anyone with COVID-19 symptoms.
Even with all the new guidelines, the state is encouraging people to work from home, if possible. KVUE reached out to some of Austin's major employers to find out if they're still teleworking. The City of Austin, Austin ISD and Travis County employees are still working from home.
Bodman said they feel safe at Naviito Austin and plan to follow any rules.
"We're really happy to see Austin kind of come back to live again," said Bodman.
PEOPLE ARE ALSO READING:
- Austin-based Tito's Handmade Vodka gives $1M for COVID-19 vaccine research
- Coronavirus in Texas: Gov. Abbott says Texas is ready to enter phase two of reopening state
- Timeline: Gov. Greg Abbott's economic plan to reopen Texas businesses
- Texas Gov. Abbott outlines plans and guidance to reopen bars, child care facilities, bingo halls and more
- Checklist: Tattoo, massage and other parlors can reopen in Texas
- Checklist: How Texas bars will operate when they can reopen May 22
- Checklist: Bowling alleys, bingo halls, skating rinks can reopen May 22 with these guidelines