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AFRL's Aerospace Systems Directorate hosts virtual reconnection workshop

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate senior leadership held a virtual workshop May 21, facilitated by Dr. Karen Townsend, owner of KTownsend Consulting, to discuss and learn strategies to re-engage, re-connect and reunite the workforce as AFRL employees enter a phased return to work.

Employees have faced a variety of challenges during this pandemic, from becoming overnight educators, to caring for loved ones who may have contracted the virus. Along with not being able to attend celebratory events, to the more detrimental incidents of not being able to visit sick family members who were hospitalized or unfortunately in some instances funeral services, these employees faced increased stressors.

Senior leaders are working to mitigate the psychological impact of this unprecedented time. This workshop offered a platform for senior leaders to share and discuss concerns as employees return to a “new normal.” AFRL leadership is now leading the navigation of operating in a different work environment that embodies social distancing and other protective measures while still continuing to support the mission.

“The workshop reminded us that many of our co-workers will need time to reconnect and re-engage when coming back to the office,” Dr. Richard Fingers, Associate Director of the Aerospace Systems Directorate said. “We should take the time to better understand what our co-workers had to deal with on a personal level these past few months and what some of them will still be dealing with even as we return to base. This understanding will help us all to be more effective and to better accomplish our AFRL mission.”