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Home / Half In, Half Out – Factory Employs Group Strategy to Duck the Virus

Half In, Half Out – Factory Employs Group Strategy to Duck the Virus

Scotchman Industries, Inc. split its workforce and rotates the teams for onsite and remote duty to decrease the odds of everyone catching COVID-19. Management also took the bold move to pay all employees during their offsite shifts, whether their jobs can be done remotely or not.

Based in Philip, S.D., Scotchman Industries, Inc. has made equipment, accessories and custom tools since 1967. To facilitate social distancing, the company split its workforce into two groups, each one of which works every other week. This is Chuck VanVleck.
One group works at the office/factory while the other group is off or works remotely if their job function allows it. All off-week hours are paid in full whether employees are able to work remotely or not. This is Dane Hellekson.
Scotchman also props open all internal doors so nobody has to touch a door knob once inside the building. This is Karlyle Johnson.
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BY BROOKE FORMANEK

Things have definitely been different around here.

We divided our workforce into two groups and are working on an every-other-week schedule. One group works at the office/factory while the other group is off or works remotely if their job function allows it, and vice versa the following week. All off-week hours are paid in full whether employees are able to work remotely or not, which is a huge blessing.

Having only 50% of the workforce at the factory at any given time allows us to do a better job of social distancing. Our management team chose this strategy so that if someone in one group gets sick, the other group will be able to work and keep our business operating while the compromised group quarantines.

We planned to work this schedule for four weeks ending after the week of May 11, but after reassessing the situation will continue for another two weeks until Memorial Day. For now, the plan is to start back as normal after the holiday.

In addition to splitting shifts, we’ve ramped up cleaning and disinfecting and propped open all internal doors so nobody has to touch a door knob once inside the building. We’ve designated an employee to walk around the factory multiple times a day disinfecting frequently used surfaces like time clocks, door knobs, faucet handles, etc.

For those who are able to work from home (including myself), it’s quite an adjustment and learning curve. But overall, we’re managing quite well and continue operating as usual while also being there for customers who need service or equipment.

America will survive if Americans keep doing what Americans do best: rising to the occasion and doing what’s right for the greater good.

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