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Navigating the New Normal at Dexis: A Young Professional’s Viewpoint

During this challenging time, Dexis remains open for business with staff working remotely. In this blog, we feature the views of team member Carolyn Gilbert who talks about navigating work during quarantine.

One thing I’ve been grateful for—and particularly struck by—since we’ve switched to mandatory remote work is how much has remained the same. Dexis has always welcomed teleworking. The organization is quite tech-savvy and already respects employees’ responsibilities to their families. Our preparedness and ability to work remotely (both infrastructurally and culturally) has made this transition during a difficult time easier.

However, during this period of shelter-in-place, as we all work from our homes with partners, children, or pets in the background, I’ve been rethinking the meaning of ‘workplace wellness’ and what it means to be supported by one’s employer.

Keeping everyone in the loop has been vitally important. For example, HR has been updating staff with essential information, such as additional leave people can take as part of the recent CARES Act. We also receive ‘pulse checks’ about the pandemic with messages that let the entire team know what the organization is doing and thinking.

Dexis began having weekly virtual town halls shortly after we all began working remotely, which I appreciate. These are a way for staff to ask questions and hear directly from Dexis leadership. During that first week, schools were closing, the market was plunging every day, and people were concerned for their jobs. The first town hall and other sessions with HR helped to reassure people and relieve that additional stressor from people’s lives.

In fact, Dexis is still hiring and continuing to send out offer letters. We were able to virtually onboard five people just last week. And our recruiting team has moved to all virtual interviews and orientations. With new candidates, we’re acknowledging the global pandemic and informing them about how we’re adapting systems to move ahead.

In addition to virtual town halls, Dexis started an online café series. In the first one, we received advice from employees who have been working remotely for a year or more. Dexis also created an online group for parents to share insights on everything from how to entertain kids to time management. And individual teams have been hosting virtual coffee chats and happy hours just for staff to check in with one another and see how each of us are doing.

I recently saw a short COVID-related post from my alma mater. The first sentence of it really touched me, and it’s especially relevant to the spirit of international development: “While many things have surprised and even shocked us recently, the smallness and closeness of our world is not one of them.”

As novel as this virus is, the resilience of our professional community and those we engage with remains the same. We work in international development because we care about people, communities, and wellbeing around the world. And we recognize our interconnectedness and responsibility for taking care of each other. Well before COVID, we routinely saw examples of individuals and communities who demonstrate amazing resilience in the face of seemingly unsurmountable challenges.

Now as we all struggle through this pandemic, it’s important to not just pay attention to positive examples but to also serve as positive examples whenever we can. It’s more apparent than ever to me that Dexis’ organizational culture reflects important values in our work and in the way it allows and even encourages employees to care for themselves and families. I think it’s a hopeful and reassuring thing to be reminded of in these times.

Carolyn Gilbert is Business Development Associate at Dexis, where she supports new business capture and proposal development.