The scope and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused employers to rethink the traditional workplace model. Having had time to test the waters with remote work arrangements, many employers are now exploring ways to more permanently incorporate working from home as either an option, or as a mandate where feasible. Many employees remain fearful of close working conditions, and some employers remain concerned about taking responsibility for the elevated level of cleanliness and hygiene required to meet CDC and OSHA guidelines. The rising level of COVID-19 related litigation is also a contributing factor in employers’ reopening decision-making.
Employers permitting or requiring remote work arrangements should strongly consider incorporating the following into go-forward planning:
- Flexibility – be aware of and sensitive to employees’ changing needs
- Trust – measure your employee’s results rather than activity
- Engagement – listen to what employees are really saying
- Employee Well-Being – Is working from home extending the workday? Causing work-life balance issues?
- Technology – Facilitate don’t frustrate
- Communication – Circulate important information more regularly/frequently
- Connection – Make employee interactions more meaningful
- Culture – Take steps to identify your employer brand and actively work to improve and sustain company culture
In a recent webinar, Jim Devine, SVP and HR Practice Leader for Univest Insurance discussed all of these topics and other employer-specific impacts of COVID-19. Check out a video of the webinar to learn more about the HR implications of the pandemic and how they could impact your business.
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