Stop stalling: Make policy and procedure decisions now for returning to the office

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Over communicate, share as many details as possible and listen to feedback when building your return-to-work plans.

Whether you are staying remote until 2022 or bringing people back to the office now, you have the same set of priorities:

  1. Communicate
  2. Communicate
  3. Communicate

Employees want decisions and details about the return to the office. And they want it now. It's better to make decisions and revisit those choices frequently than to delay or waffle. 

SEE: Checklist: Return to the office

A new survey from EY, Work Reimagined Employer Survey 2021, found that 79% of companies intend to make moderate to extensive changes to enable hybrid work, but only 40% of global employers have communicated any of these plans.

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Companies need to create policies, which  cover vaccine mandates, remote work, flexibility and travel. Employers also must think about the physical conditions in the office, including vaccination checks, testing, air filtration and occupancy levels. All of these factors influence the employee experience and that is key to getting people back to the office. As one HR expert said, employers have to win people back to the office, not expect everyone to simply return to normal. 

SEE: Hybrid Work Policy

The goal, however, is not to make the perfect decision but to be nimble. Employees understand that by this point in the pandemic conditions change quickly. Managers should recognize this also and act accordingly. Over communicate, share as many details as possible and listen to feedback.

These TechRepublic Premium resources will help you start the decision-making process and understand the scope of this challenge. These checklists and how-to-reopen documents will cover all the bases and leave room for you to customize for your own office.

Hybrid Work Policy

This document covers work hours, equipment, office supplies and liability. You'll be able to set rules for regular and recurring remote work as well as ad hoc remote work. This resource also has a signature page for workers to acknowledge the policy.

Checklist: Return to the office

This resource includes sections for human resources and the IT department and includes 45 items that cover everything from sanitizing stations to ventilation requirements. This list outlines the decisions you need to make now as well as ones you will need to revisit over time.

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