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Post COVID-19, Reimagining The Workplace Part 3: Who Do We Bring Back, And When?

Who’s In, Who’s Out? The Responsible Guide To Bringing Staff Back To Work

Organizations are faced with the tremendous challenge of ramping up to full productivity, post-COVID-19. And in almost all cases, that will look different from how it did before the pandemic.

In the paper I have written for Mythos Group, I examine four considerations for businesses and other organizations weighing their options for the workplace in a post-pandemic world: 

1. Redesigning the workplace for safety
2. Reimagining and reconstructing how work is done
3. Who do we bring back onsite and when?
4. Rethinking and refining operations

Here I want to focus on the vexed issue of who to bring back onsite, and when to do so.

Some roles will evolve and may transition into virtual ones, while other roles rely heavily on onsite technologies and can’t be done effectively without them. By identifying their mission-critical roles, organizations will be able to identify who to bring back onsite and when.     

Listed below are a few essential considerations to ensure a successful transition back to work: 

Establish a Multi-Disciplinary Team: Organizations should establish a multi-disciplinary team to develop a return to work strategy. The team composition should include senior leaders from key functions and employee representatives. This multi-disciplinary team is responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring the developed return to work plan.

It may benefit the organization to hire external advisors to bring innovative ideas, subject matter expertise, and best practices to develop an actionable and pragmatic work plan. 

Reclassification of Roles: The organization’s multi-disciplinary team should carefully evaluate who needs to return to the workplace based on their role (what they do) and the value created by where the role is performed (could the same value be derived by performing the role remotely?). Existing employee roles should be reclassified into one of the following three groups:

  • Fully onsite
  • Hybrid (a combination of some onsite and some remote)
  • Fully remote

Staggered Schedule and Rotational Days: As the organization is building its return to the workplace strategy, it should account for the volume of employees it is bringing in – large volumes of employees returning to the workspace pose a significant risk for contracting and spreading the coronavirus. Organizations should instead create cross-functional teams that work on a staggered work schedule and rotational days. This will help in maintaining business continuity, balancing employee density in the workplace, and reducing risks of spreading the coronavirus.

The post-pandemic workplace will certainly be different, but the opportunity is to reinvent it for the better. 

Mythos Group’s white paper, Post-COVID-19, Reimagining The Workplace, contains more detail on this and other recommendations, and is available to download for free from Papers.