Page 27 - BusinessWest August 3, 2020
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135 Denslow Road, East Longmeadow, MA 01028 (413) 224-2456;
25 Miles St., Greenfield, MA 01301 (413) 774-7581;
2131 Riverdale St., West Springfield, MA 01089 (413) 737-0991;
380 Union St., West Springfield, MA 01089 (413) 746-3064;
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Maria Czupryna
Gary Conte Karin Conte
Alan Wytas Ken Wytas
Mark Proshan
“We’re able to give
Certified woman-owned business; contract and residential window treatments: shades, blinds, draperies (manual and motorized); cubicle curtains, shower curtains, theater drapery; window film; repair to existing window treatments; custom upholstery and reupholstery; acoustical panels; sound-masking systems; contract furniture; contract interior design
Sales of new and used office furniture and systems
Sales of new and used discount office furniture; office-design space planning; furniture leasing
Sales of new, used, and refurbished furniture; space planning; design; buy-back
Hunter Douglas; Draper Inc.; MechoSystems; Graber; SWF Contract; Somfy; RollEase; Sound Seal; Koroseal; Kirsch; InPro; Lencore Acoustics; Lesro; Beaufurn; Seating Inc.; Fluid Concepts; SurfaceTech
Trendway; Global
HON; LaZBoy; Lesro; many others
Authorized Herman Miller dealer; All Seating; LogiFlex; Meridian; OTG; OFS; Sit On It; Shoto; others
56 Canal St., Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 315-6777;
Franco Arnold
Sales of new, used, refurbished, ‘as-is’ furniture; buy-back services; installation; design; space planning
Haworth; Herman Miller; Knoll; Steelcase; many others
10 West St., West Hatfield, MA 01088 (413) 247-5681;
Ross Grant
Sales of international and domestic furniture for home and office; interior design; delivery and installation services
Unique Office; Ekornes Stressless recliners and sofas; VIA office chairs; BDI; Palliser; Lyndon; many others
10 Waterside Dr., Farmington, CT 06032 (860) 882-5903;
Josh Hagstrom
Full-service contract furnishings dealer providing space planning and furniture solutions for commercial, government, healthcare, and educational environments
Teknion (signature line); company represents 90 other manufacturers
1350 Main St., Suite 1108, Springfield, MA 01103 (413) 736-1802;
 Ray Wasson
 Integrated interiors; furniture, seating, storage, and tables; ergonomic solutions; audio, video, data, videoconferencing, and telepresence; data centers; architectural systems; flooring; workplace services
 Steelcase; AIS; KI; Kimball; National; HON; multiple healthcare manufacturers
   flexibility to that employee who may have child-
care issues, or is caring for an elderly parent, and it allows us to support our stores while minimizing the amount of people who come in here,” he said, which remains an issue with the pandemic still a threat.
“So having flexibility of schedule helps their personal lives and also our workplace.”
Claire D’Amour-Daley, the chain’s vice president of Corporate Communications, agreed. “Some have even felt more productive at home than here. It will certainly be part of the workplace of the future.”
She was especially impressed that the company was able to shift how it did business — not just mov- ing some employees home, but taking steps to pro- tect the ones in the stores — essentially on the fly.
“We’re used to working quickly, but not that quick- ly,” she said. “The stores were slammed the first few weeks, and this added yet another element of urgen- cy. But we never stopped; we quickly pivoted to serve our stores and our customers in an unprecedented manner.”
“We made it work, and we needed to,” Galat added. “We needed to stay connected more than ever during this time.”
That said, “there are more discussions to be had,” he continued. “Absolutely, some lessons were learned — we’re able to support our locations — but when you look at the company-culture part of it, you lose that social aspect.”
To counter that, remote employees have been conferencing over Zoom three or four times a week, in some departments every day. Meanwhile, they’ve been issued guidance for working efficiently at home,
from creating a comfortable, ergonomically correct work area to setting aside time for mind-clearing breaks.
“Eighty to 85% of the feedback has been positive,” Galat said. “People have been able to get their prod- ucts done. Some have missed the social element, but for others, there’s value in the time saved not com- muting in traffic.”
PeoplesBank has long promoted an interactive, employee-centric culture, and that has to be consid- ered when pondering the future of the workplace.
“We rely on that interaction and engagement you get by being in the office together as a group,” Rob- erts said.
“Making sure we can continue that interactive part of our culture is something I’m really focused on right now. That’s a tricky one. If you have a completely remote workforce, you lose some of those engage- ment opportunities, and you have to shift some of the ways you engage. We’re not going to let that stop us from pursuing flexibility, but we have to consider the great culture that we have.”
Home or Away?
While employee culture and technology require- ments are certainly legitimate topics of discussion, none of the professionals who spoke with Busi- nessWest expressed much concern about employee accountability and efficiency — “our concerns about people not doing their work dissipated pretty quick- ly,” D’Amour-Daley said — meaning remote workers may indeed have a broader role in the future.
“It’s been interesting to say the least,” Leary said. “I’ve fallen into a pretty good routine from day one. I’ve tried to make it a regular day: shower, get dressed
— not in a suit, but not pajamas — and sit down at my computer. It makes for a more normal routine than saying, ‘I’ll get to work when I get to it.’ And I think most people would feel the same.”
Expanded use of remote work would also open up opportunities for both companies and employ- ees, especially those who want to live in, say, Boston or New York City, he noted. Those individuals could expand their job-search horizons, while Western Mass. could become a more attractive place for busi- nesses to set down roots, taking advantage of the region’s relatively low lease rates while hiring from afar.
All these opportunities can only open up if remote work proves a viable option. And companies of all types are starting to think it is.
“I haven’t had a single client call and say, ‘hey, I was talking to Sally, and I heard a dog barking in the background; it was really distracting,’” Leary said. “I actually think the idea of working from home is good for people. In that time they’d be commuting, maybe they’re exercising or spending more time with their family.
“People do miss the social interaction,” he was quick to add. “Maybe they live alone, or it’s just them and their significant other in the office.”
But the employees of MP CPAs who are back in the office — about half the team — are there by choice, he said, with others choosing to remain at home.
Because it works. And employers like things that work. So, in this era of Zoom and home offices and (sometimes) pajamas, they’re paying attention. u
Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]
AUGUST 3, 2020 27
90 Tapley St., Springfield, MA 01101
(413) 734-8911;
Ronald Gordenstein
    Sales of new, used, and refurbished office furniture; interior design; space planning
Affordable Interior Systems (cloned Steelcase and Herman Miller lines); Eurotech; Global; Lesro; Candex; HON; Indiana Furniture; Surfacetech; KI; Darran; KFI Seating; Groupe Lacasse; St. Timothy; United Stationers

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