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Returning to Office Post-COVID

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

After the deadly 2nd wave companies are contemplating to reopen workspaces. Most of the organizations are working on plan to implement hybrid model where 30% of workforce will be present in office and the rest will work from home. Recently, IT giant Infosys announced working from office though they were working out of office on emergency basis for last few months. 

Many employees want to be back at their workplace which they hadn’t been able to since early last year, counting on their employers to help them get back to work safely. 

COVID-19 is here to stay and we may rarely have zero case scenarios in the foreseeable future but the business has to go on. Organizations have lot of pressure and responsibility to get employees back at workplace. The safety and health is the first thing that organizations are thinking before they get back their employees to workplaces aftermath what we saw in the second wave. 

It is the top priority for organization and they have to make quite a lot changes to get employees working from office site permanently. 

  1. Employee health check-up like daily body temperature check

  2. Isolation, containment and tracking procedure in place

  3. Stay at home procedure

  4. Social Distancing at workplace

Once organizations start working from with full employee in attendance they have to keep them safe. Also, getting all employees back to office at the same time will be overwhelming for organizations. Organization also needs to decide whether to get every employee together at workplace or staggered shifts; it also includes breaks in a staggered way. For personal use of employees , the organizations have to give hand sanitizers, masks for everyone’s safety.

The HR’s are preparing in consultation with BU leaders who are mission -critical employees, those needed in office back. Roles of sales, marketing needs face to face interactions but it totally depends on customer’s requirement and travel advisability. There are also other roles which can successfully done while working remotely and should continue until getting everyone at workplace is safe.

An organization needs to decide after include employees before implementing any hard decisions. Discussion with employees is needed to get the pulse and buy-in to run it successfully before they are called back to office. This will also help to create a culture of inclusion, engagement, trust and result in increased productivity. There are employees who are currently in dilemma as many organizations wanting employees back at office to join or should they start looking for organizations providing flexibility. There is already buzz around of “great resignation wave” coming as many are reluctant to get back to workplace now fulltime.  Reasoning there are many employees who would have closed faced the crisis or have to take care vulnerable members to take care at home.

Having effective communication with employees will help the organization to share the vision as what is expected next and understand the concerns employees would have. Understanding the challenges of employees and listening to them will help to make a sound decision and work a suitable plan.

Author – Moumita Ray

Moumita Ray is a human resource leader with rich experience in designing & developing strategies, processes, enhancing capabilities, and building a culture to help businesses achieve their excellence.


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