Should employees expect to return to work?
The technology world was expected to return to work in person this summer, right before the pandemic unemployment benefits end. As the Delta variant continues to ravage the country and many counties re-enforce mask orders, many companies are canceling the plans and asking employees to remain home.
“The delays kicked off in mid-July, when Apple Inc. said it wouldn’t ask employees to come back until October at the earliest. It’s been followed by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Uber Technologies Inc.—which all also set an October reopening target. Lyft Inc. shifted its timeline all the way back to February. And on Thursday, Amazon pushed its plans to January.
Many companies (Facebook Inc., Microsoft and Google to name a few) will require employees that do come in to be vaccinated, and others (Lyft, Facebook, Uber and more) are also requiring masks in the office even while seated at a desk.” (Bloomberg)
Some companies, like Dropbox, have gone one step further and reimagined their office space into a meeting area for employees. The ability to work from their office is an option, but the company expects it to become more of a convening and meeting area than a traditional office.
Do Employees Want to Return To Work?
According to a recent McKinsey report, 52% of employees surveyed were hoping for a flexible working model post-pandemic, but that was when the expectation was that there would be a post-pandemic world.
Now, with the rise in Covid cases, and the new variants, it’s not clear if there will be a true post-pandemic world. It is expected that more people will choose to be vaccinated as time wears on. The FDA approval is expected to make it legal for companies to require employees to become vaccinated, which will increase the number of vaccinations, and logically should decrease the number of reported Covid cases, but is it enough? Employees report feeling anxious and unsure about return to work policies.
Should Your Organization Adopt a Return To Work Policy?
The choice will depend on the situation of course, but many smaller businesses can benefit from offering remote work opportunities. Employees surveyed stated they would be willing to take a 5% pay cut to work from home. The added affordability of not paying for expensive office space could be enough for a small business to compete with the larger companies.
During the lockdown, Tech One IT set up new apprenticeship initiatives at several technology firms and our clients, apprentices and their team leaders have reported no issues starting with a new team in a virtual environment.
Back in May 2020, we stated “The new normal is undefined, but it should not intimidate companies.” That truth still stands. The only way to enjoy continuity at work is to be prepared for all outcomes. Employees will look to company leaders for strength and compassion, but company leaders can lean on partners that are able to develop a workforce that can pivot as the world needs.
Tech One IT is dedicated to strengthening our economy by putting people back to work and removing the impediments to success that many businesses are facing currently. We have technology solutions for keeping your business goals aligned no matter what the situation, we have technology staffing services to get you the platinum employees you want, and we have the Technology Apprenticeship Program for a customizable, cost-effective method of employment that works no matter where you need the team.