When the coronavirus pandemic began in the spring of 2020, Audi Gainesville threw its normal work requirements out the window.
Thomas Brinkmann, the Florida dealership's general manager, let concerned employees stay home with no questions asked, allowing other employees to pick up extra hours to fill in the gaps. When day cares and schools closed, he let two employees — who sat in individual, second-floor offices away from the showroom — bring their children into work with them.
"If we would have been the normal, stringent employer, they're screwed and ultimately we are, too, because we'd probably lose those people because they're going to have to take care of their children first," Brinkmann told Automotive News. "Some of the decisions you have to make a little bit from the hip and hope they're smart decisions. We just made it work. We still had a business to run, and we never closed down."