COVID-19 Forces Many Workplace Changes

A recent national SHRM survey of employers indicates the return to work plans vary greatly by industry and 45% have not announced a return to worksite date. In May, Employers Council published a return to work survey of members and their plans; the results found a similarly high level of uncertainty. A few common themes include:

  • Telecommuting and remote working will become more common for certain positions and roles
  • Policies must be re-evaluated to provide more flexibility to employees and compliance
  • Benefits programs may change to support employees’ needs for childcare and health
  • Training and skill development is needed to boost productivity in the transition to remote work
  • Workplace environment and processes will be modified or wholly redesigned

With all these sudden changes, employers may be challenged to navigate evolving employee needs and balance them with operational complexities, limitations, and inconsistent needs among employee groups. For example, some roles on existing teams may lend themselves to distance work far more than others. Some employees may feel exposed to higher exposure to COVID-19 risks and undervalued when accommodations are made for certain employees. How will the needs and demands of employees be met, along with maintaining morale and supporting workplace culture?

Many workplaces are undergoing major changes, and HR must take the lead on many fronts. Our free Employers Guide to Returning to Work is a good place to start. Employers Council is here to support members through the many different challenges of this transition. Contact us today for help.