An office cat, paid time off for service among perks at Baton Rouge’s Best Places to Work

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Executives at six of the 60 Baton Rouge-area companies honored at Tuesday morning’s Best Places to Work Breakfast shared how they keep employees engaged, even when working from home, how they deal with the challenges facing the local business community and how they give back to Baton Rouge.

While GMFS Mortgage may never again resemble its pre-pandemic self due to employees working from home, company president Tee Brown does hope to have about two days a month where everyone can come in and not only work but also socialize and catch up.

GMFS also offers paid time off for employees volunteering or participating in community service, Brown says, in an effort to ensure that the communities employees serve as well as live in are thriving. 

One of the biggest challenges facing the business community is figuring out how to make working from home work for employees, says David Thomas, a member of law firm Walters, Papillon, Thomas and Cullens. Some employees might not be suited for it while others love it, and the firm has had to devise a model that works best for most everyone.

Thomas says company has worked to foster its culture around employees, and while he isn’t a big cat fan, they now have an office cat named Cort Marshall. It’s little things like that, he says, that keep employees engaged. 

It’s also important to involve employees in office decisions, big or small, says Ronnie Stephens, CEO of Wymar Federal Credit Union. 

Don’t miss the October issue of Business Report, which hits stands this week and is focused on the Capital Region’s Best Places to Work.