• Raquel Weiss Fusco

Good To Be B.A.C.K.


Welcome back from the most challenging year – or two – ever! Needless to say, it’s been a whirlwind and it’s so easy to lose track of time when ‘normal life’ is no longer normal.


So why am I welcoming you back when we’ve been here the whole time?! Well, I’m reflecting on a big day for the elite|studio e team. We welcomed everyone back, coming together for the first time since March 2020, and with bright eyes and bushy tails. To say the least, I’m…


Beaming.

It’s a week later and although nationally July 6th may not be as favored because it’s the first day back after a long 4th of July weekend, my reflection of that day – at least in 2021 -- is definitely a pleasant one.


I woke up on that Tuesday morning, and had a fairly average cup of coffee, breakfast, got my daughter off to camp, and drove to work. Passing all the recognizable landmarks, it felt less monotonous, and more jittery. I could not contain myself when I entered the office. The smell of fresh, warm New York Bagels (if you know, you know) smacked me in the face! I was greeted with a brand-new lobby. New paint, shelving, interior design, and my favorite of all, a “welcome back” sign!

WE ARE BACK!!!


Activated.

As offices across the county have been reopening, our team has taken note of changes and trends in our industry – and others. For example, we’ve seen companies, universities, medical spaces and K-12 schools renovating cafes, lobbies and common spaces. These improvements encourage comradery and improve morale. In my opinion, it’s so important after all this time for people to feel good about coming back!

To stay “on brand”, we incorporated some cool reopening improvements in our own office. Pictured above is our newly renovated lobby and below you’ll see part of our welcome breakfast and décor. We also featured various contests and the infamous happy hour. You don’t need a large budget to promote excitement or to reactivate a space.


Even the smallest of changes to a space can improve everyone’s feeling about returning to work after the pandemic. For example, Marcy, our Marketing Director, ordered a coffee stand with an organized selection of flavored coffees. Everyone was Ooo-ing and Ahhh-ing about it for weeks! Another small change we made was to our Billiards & Lounge area. All we did was move the furniture around and add a new picture or two. It brought life to an aged area.

And the celebration continued in our remote locations! In more ways than one, the team at elite|studio e places a heavy value on inclusivity. Individuals in our Team E Locations received happy hour gift boxes (pictured to the right) so they could join us for our reopening day happy hour.

Creative.

Over the past year, we’ve taken advantage of this time to brainstorm and continue delivering innovative content, designs and ideas in this industry. One example of this is the revamp of my very own Quel’s Corner Instagram account. Are you following Quel's Corner?

With the grand reopening, I figured it’s a great time to improve this little hobby of mine. New themes, new photos, new blogs, newly designed and built projects, but the same mission: sharing trends, designs and happenings that are redefining the foodservice industry.


Kudos, to everyone.

Yes, everyone. As we all know, this is an unprecedented time. As people, a company, and humanity, we’ve defied the odds, worked together, and let our resilience drive us through some pretty dark days. Kudos to all continuing to work from home, kudos to those parenting from home, kudos to those getting back to the office. With life not yet being fully back to normal, and people still adjusting day after day, we are doing it. This is a perfect opportunity to showcase your appreciation for the people who mean the most around you, and help you get to where you are in this world today.

I know a lot of companies are eager, planning to go back to the office in the near future. In what could be a difficult transition, I hope everyone is finding good things to look forward to in each and every day! While we can’t give away all of our secrets, kindness goes a long way. Get a flat tire on your way to work? Coming into a hand-written note and a candy bar makes the team member feel special and resets the day. How could that not brighten up anyone's day!?

Returning to the office … how do you feel about it? What would you like to see?

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