HALO Recognition conducted an informal back-to-work survey of our top clients to find out how different industries are handling several aspects of returning to work. We reached out to HR professionals from the healthcare, energy, manufacturing, tech, pharma, retail, and financial sectors with three key questions:
- How has COVID-19 impacted day-to-day business routines?
- Which current initiatives and strategies are being discussed to maintain morale and continuity?
- What do your reopening plans look like?
1. Many employers are seeing significant benefits to remote office setups, and plan to continue telework where possible.
- Employees are more productive working from home, but some are missing the social aspects of the office.
- More support is needed for remote workers going forward, from IT to mental/emotional health services.
- Remote workforces are encouraging companies to rethink their physical office spaces.
“56% of our staff were already working remotely and office buildings were being used at 60% capacity, and we expect that to increase. We are planning to dispose of unnecessary office space, furniture, and equipment.”– Healthcare Insurance Client
“Only about 20% of our workforce have told us they are more comfortable and perform better in an office setting.”Tech Industry Client
2. Back-to-work plans are slowly but surely coming together with several different approaches depending on industry.
- Employee and customer safety are the top priority for most organizations.
- PPE is an essential component to reopening.
“We are planning to offer a Welcome Back Kit that includes a mask, gloves, and stylus for using touchscreens.”Food Services Client
“Even though our state is ‘opening back up’ there are many employees who don’t want to go back just yet. Communication, feedback, and phasing people in are very important factors in planning.”Manufacturing Client
“Seating six feet apart. Traffic flows for safety. Flex seating and ‘work zones.’ We are embracing telecommuting.”Financial Services Client
3. Organizations are erring on the side of more communication, aid, and recognition for employees.
- There is a direct correlation between the amount of senior-level communication with employees and the overall comfort level of the organization.
- Reassurance, support, and recognition of uncertainty are critical to keeping employees engaged.
- Companies are paying more attention to how technology can aid in communication and make remote experiences more personal.
“We have weekly video communications from the CEO where we discuss phasing and distancing that must take place. Our Risk Management team actively tracks safety measures.”Energy Client
“We are down team members, so the pressure is enormous. We send gifts and take every opportunity to let them know they are valued.”Pharma Client
“Much more video learning and meetings.”Financial Services Client
Back-to-work plans are shaping up in many ways and according to varying guidelines. As the situation develops, organizations will continue to adapt their policies to help everyone reopen as safely and cautiously as possible.