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Post Pandemic Workplace?

Bloomberg Businessweek August 2, 2021 pp38-39 |Strategies|”Return To Office, Or Not” “Employers will have to retool policies for post-pandemic hybrid, remote and in-office”

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Read the Bloomberg Businessweek for all the details.

Summary offered by 2244

When suddenly sent packing from the workplace, laptop in hand, workers fleeing the office from the threat of COVID-19 subsequently went through the five stages of grief. Will they face a repeat in the post-pandemic workplace that is likely going to be a mix of employees' work models even within the same organization? There will be those-working exclusively from home, -working exclusively from the office and -working hybrid partly remote and partly in-office. Complicating matters with the rise of the Delta variant most companies are now holding off possibly to 2022 to articulate and enforce new work rules.

Some companies are fixated on full return to office including Bank Of America, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. CFOs surveyed generally tend to favor this as well. Getting back to full on-site work could though require costly incentives to retain staff. Workers on the other hand believe they are just as productive working from a remote location as they are in office. They generally favor the hybrid model finding that working full-remote is most stressful but not wanting to return to full in office. According to pollster David Niu (Tinypulse) “Women with children were least likely to favor the return to office, and parents with partners were most keen on it, a reflection of uncertainty around childcare.” Companies like Ford and favor flexible arrangements.

All agree that the hybrid workforce model has its challenges. Key points noted are maintaining communication, providing enough face to face, and ensuring that “members of underrepresented groups aren’t falling behind if they’re meeting remotely.

Each company will need to make their own assessment of business and staff needs in formulating the post-pandemic workplace. A legitimate question that must be objectively answered is “what work can truly be done remotely.”

Dennis Baltzley (Korn Ferry) notes that employers must understand where staff are “in the process [of grief] and strategize with them...the best thing we can do is to help people prepare for the unknown.”


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