Returning to Work in the New COVID-19 World

By Amanda Bishop, head of Visteon’s Coronavirus Task Force

This past New Year’s Eve, as I thought about my hopes for 2020, the words “social distancing,” “quarantine” and “flattening the curve” never once entered my mind. Then, in February, I was invited to a late-afternoon meeting where all of that changed.

Over the past two months, the word “coronavirus,” or COVID-19, has changed every aspect of my life – the way I work, how I interact with my friends and colleagues, and how (or if) I’m allowed to leave my house. It is part of almost every conversation with every person I know.

My life went from rushing my family out the door daily to trying to find quiet places for everyone to work and learn. My two girls are now very proficient in online Zoom classes, and sneak in way too much Minecraft and TV time as they long to play with their friends. They know mom is always on calls discussing coronavirus, given my daily meetings with our global teams to help keep our executive committee updated on our response and progress. 

I lead Visteon’s Coronavirus Task Force, which is a group of tremendous professionals from each of our global facilities. This team works with speed and diligence as we race to respond to the rapid spread of the virus in almost every country where we operate. Within days, we pivoted most of our professional workforce to a work-from-home model, and made decisive decisions regarding our manufacturing operations – all as local conditions were constantly changing around them. A job very well done.

We can all expect a safe but very different workplace once on-site operations resume. Our task force has worked relentlessly to develop Visteon’s Global COVID-19 Return-to-Work Protocol, aligned with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and other regional guidelines. Our return-to-work protocols ensure consistent hygiene practices and new social-distancing requirements to minimize person-to-person contact. Changes in personal health assessments, required personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning protocols will help us with a safe transition. Because each facility is unique, additional site-specific return-to-work plans are being implemented to ensure compliance with local regulations and practices.

As we adjust to reengaging with friends and colleagues, it is critical that we are sensitive to the individual concerns of employees wanting to protect themselves. Leaders at all levels of our organization will guide their teams through these new working conditions and lead by example to help safeguard our 11,000 employees. 

In the spirit of collaboration, and for the greater good of society, we are publicly sharing Visteon’s Global COVID-19 Return-to-Work Protocol with our customers, suppliers, partners and others in the industry so everybody can benefit from our learning.

My hope is that when my girls remember the pandemic of 2020, they will not recall the disappointment of missed parties, my panic when the internet went down, or having to eat at home far too many days in a row.  I hope they realize instead that for a short time in history, the entire world came together to fight a common enemy, COVID-19, and that the collective sacrifices of so many truly helped “flatten the curve” and save precious lives.