Employees Who Cannot Work From Home

Oregon Business interviews Jessica Gomez, CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices, a MEMS and Silicon Wafers tech manufacturer, on concerns regarding the potential difficulty to recruit employees who cannot work from home.

As the head of a manufacturer, the shift to remote work has been more challenging to manage for Jessica Gomez, CEO of Rogue Valley Microdevices, than for leaders of professional-services firms.

Gomez’s Medford company makes silicon wafers and electromechanical sensors. The products are manufactured in a cleanroom that is designed to minimize particulates, such as airborne organisms, and, for this reason, offers more protection from coronavirus transmission than more typical manufacturing facilities.

“We did lose some effectiveness depending on the person’s job function, because there is a lot of communication that happens between people working inside the fab and outside the fab, mainly related to the decision-making process of what to do with certain materials. There are times when we pull one or two people into a meeting to solve a problem. That becomes more logistically challenging.”

– Jessica Gomez, CEO Rogue Valley Microdevices

Despite the challenges, the flexibility of working from home will be a permanent employee benefit when life gets back to normal.

“Having that additional flexibility will continue, and it is a wonderful thing for families and people who are dealing with the basic challenges of life. My hope is that people use the flexibility to reduce their stress levels. I think that will be a permanent and positive change.”

– Jessica Gomez, CEO Rogue Valley Microdevices

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