At Tandem Diabetes Care, we have been taking the current COVID-19 pandemic very seriously and have taken steps to protect the health, safety, and well-being of not only our customers, but our employees.
We were fortunate enough to be able to continue hiring new team members and to set up new hires to have proper work-from-home conditions. With the incredible help of our Information Technology (IT) team, we transitioned hundreds of employees to working remotely in a very short amount of time. We spoke to IT Manager, Tyler Roach, to get more insight into his team’s role in this initiative:
“When we first began the transition to work from home, we built and issued about 100 laptops in a matter of 3 days to get folks mobilized. Fortunately, we are a laptop-heavy organization so most employees were already on laptops. The main folks we had to quickly convert were our Inside Sales team who previously worked off desktop computers. As for monitors, we lost count, but maybe around 500 or so were issued in the initial rush to work from home. We were ordering monitors by the pallet to keep up with demand of employees. Huge kudos to our IT Coordinator, Tanya, for processing all these orders!
We supported and continue to support our Boise, ID office through a lot of communication and coordination! We are fortunate to have two great techs up in Boise, Joe and Ryan. They have done a great job managing the day to day and getting all the new folks onboarded. Our full team down in San Diego has also done an awesome job helping with getting computers ordered, built, and shipped to Boise. One of the challenges we faced, aside from not always having enough hours in the day to keep up with the demand, was ordering new equipment through our vendors as COVID has delayed or backordered certain items (monitors, docking stations, headsets) due to demand nationwide. We have been really fortunate to keep up with the needs of the business, but it’s definitely been challenging.
I think the biggest takeaway from our work from home transition was knowing that we all need to be flexible. From a technology standpoint, we learned what different groups throughout the organization needed to successfully work from home and then we worked to ‘standardize’ those packages as we continued to onboard new employees. To elaborate, we learned that some employees had to have two external monitors at home to get their job done, others needed one larger monitor for their work. Laptops have limited USB ports on them, so we needed to get some users docking stations and others USB hubs to enable more USB functionality for plugging in keyboards, mice, headsets, etc. We also had to educate folks that were not familiar on how to use our virtual private network (VPN) client to get access to data on our network. Fortunately, we had very robust systems already in place that allowed us to quickly mobilize. Over the months we have continued to monitor and improve our systems to support the heavy workload of work-from-home users.
What is not going away as we eventually transition back to the office is the balance of folks working from home and working in the office. We plan to continue to provide collaboration tools to enable this and make for a seamless experience, whether someone is working from their dinner table or working back in their cubicle on Roselle Street.
One of the biggest preparations we will need to work on with our Facility and EHS teams, to help make everyone feel safe when returning to the office later next year, is conference spaces. Simple things like reducing the room occupancy and trying to eliminate high-touch points (markers, dry erasers, etc.) are of priority. Making sure folks can sanitize our high-tech conference room gear in between uses is also very important to us.
As more and more people will need to dial in from home to attend meetings, we are continuing our push to deploy new video conference equipment in all our 50+ conference rooms. This will help ensure the personal experience of seeing everyone in the room and vice versa.
The biggest consideration in supporting employees who have moved to other places during their work-from-home period is always security. We need to make sure that employees have the tools to do their job, but that we are also protecting our corporate data and precious customer information. First and foremost, we have hired and dedicated more resources to our cyber security team including just hiring a new Director of Cyber Security. We deployed Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) to help secure our applications while folks were working from home and were off our corporate network. We’ve also rolled out new company wide cyber security training and continue to push our simulated phishing campaigns for employee training. So, aside from the time differences for support, we can provide employees the same Tandem experience whether they are in Europe or just up in the mountains of Montana.”
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a part of the Tandem team, either remotely or eventually in-office, please be sure to check out our Careers site for information on how to get started. We look forward to virtually meeting you!