Staff members at the Oklahoma Police Pension & Retirement System (OPPRS) are returning to their office Monday as parts of the state begin to resume operations, according to the executive director.
“The legislature went back into session [last week], and so long as they feel that they can go back to work, then I feel as a state agency we should follow,” said Ginger Sigler, executive director at OPPRS.
Returning to the office is not mandatory, Sigler said, and the pension plan will work with any employees who wish to continue working from home.
In the office, the retirement system will follow sanitation and social distancing protocols required by the state by wiping down common areas, such as the break rooms.
Each of the 11 members of Sigler’s investment and administrative team also have their own office rooms on the third floor in the building the pension plan occupies.
“We’re going to try to be safe,” Sigler said. The executive director said she strictly adheres to the social distancing protocols, including wearing a mask in public.
Many states, including Oklahoma, are lifting shelter-in-place orders and slowly resuming operations.
On Friday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt moved into Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan. Nonessential travel and organized sports activities can start again, as can funerals and weddings, with some restrictions. Bars can also reopen with limited occupancy.
Last month, some groups protested the stay-at-home orders from the governor, which they said were financially crippling the state. Oklahoma has among the lowest number of coronavirus cases per capita in the United States.
Some of the largest employers in the nation, however, are pushing back return-to-office policies to later in the year, including Facebook and Google. Last week, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said employees can work from home indefinitely.
But OPPRS’s Sigler said that though the team has proven it can continue business as usual out of the office, she has missed the social interaction with her staff.
“I like that interaction face-to-face, and going across the office to talk to the person and say everything you want to say to a person, instead of hanging up a call and saying, ‘Oh I should have asked this,’” Sigler said.