The coronavirus upended work this year as offices closed and workers went their separate ways, some laid off and some to work at home.
Most stores and restaurants closed at the outset before relaxing public health rules allowed many to reopen. Essential workers carried on, while wearing masks and trying to maintain social distance.
The pandemic created a new reality and set of rules for workplaces — yet the top ones hardly skipped a beat. Strong workplace cultures not only survived but in some cases thrived as they transitioned to virtual environments instead of physical ones.
Many of the workplaces — the companies, the schools, the nonprofits — that are being recognized in what is now the 10th year for Baltimore Sun Media’s Top Workplaces are familiar names. They’ve been here before, and, despite the coronavirus, here they are again.
To gain some insight on how these workplaces adjusted to the pandemic, The Sun asked those identified as top leaders some questions about how the virus affected them, what they did to accommodate its challenges and what they learned. You’ll see their answers in these pages.
For Top Workplaces, The Sun again collaborated with Energage, an employee research and consulting firm based in Philadelphia. Energage, whose mission is to help employers create places where people want to work, works with many other U.S. news organizations on similar projects in their markets.
The Sun and Energage solicited nominations together this past summer; then our partner surveyed the employees of companies that chose to participate. Energage analyzed the data to identify the Baltimore region’s Top Workplaces, scoring and ranking the results and dividing employers into small, midsize and large categories.
In our 10th year, The Sun appreciates those employers who chose to participate this year, and especially Notre Dame Preparatory School and KatzAbosch, which have been among the top workplaces since The Sun launched it in 2011.
Please enjoy this year’s magazine. Celebrate with us what makes the employers great. And join us in hoping that some sort of workplace normalcy returns next year as we move beyond the pandemic.
— Christopher Dinsmore, senior editor for business and health