The Delta variant has thrown a wrench into the works for even the best return-to-work plans. Many businesses that had a process in place to transition employees from work-at-home back to the office are now reconsidering what’s best for all involved. The primary concern is to keep employees safe and healthy, but you can take steps to revise your plan and still avoid putting employees in harm’s way.
Vaccines—to mandate or not to mandate?
Though some companies are requiring employees to get vaccinated before they return to the office, you may be concerned about legal issues if you go this route. Considerations such as religious beliefs or employee disabilities are a concern, and you could be faced with pushback from workers or even turnover. Though mandatory vaccines may help to keep your workers safe, it’s best to consult your legal counsel before taking this plan of action.
At the very least, you can continue to follow the CDC guidelines for maintaining a safe workplace during COVID-19, including health checks, social distancing, barriers, personal protective equipment and encouraging sick or exposed employees to stay home.
Offer return-to-office perks
Some employees may simply not feel comfortable returning to the office, and that’s a fact you’re forced to consider. But for those on the fence, offering perks or incentives for returning to the office might help sway their decision. This could include:
- Rewards for vaccination. Some companies have offered cash rewards to encourage employees to get vaccinated.
- Childcare support. Whether on-site or through reimbursement, companies have begun offering help to employees who spent the pandemic home with children and now need childcare assistance.
- Opportunities for advancement. Employees can be enticed back to work with promises of how the company will support their future endeavors. This can include tuition reimbursement or on-the-job training.
- Improved benefits. Showing employees you care about their health and well-being is a popular way to attract and retain workers, even if it’s just getting them back into the office. Richer spending account contributions, more wellness benefits, profit sharing, telemedicine options and more can change the mind of employees looking to move on to something new.
Provide hybrid work models
One of the best ways to entice employees back into the office is to do it in waves as they feel comfortable. Hybrid models that allow some continued work-at-home combined with some time in the office can be a smart transitional (or even permanent) model. In-person interactions are beneficial to a strong and productive workplace, but even in limited amounts, they can help.
The world is still in flux, and it continues as a source of worry and stress for many. Keep your focus on the health and well-being of your workers rather than previous productivity. Share your own worries and experiences to build camaraderie with your team and let them know they’re not alone.
Assess your risk
As you modify your working arrangement despite the Delta variant, you may decide to assess your business risk. And Odell Studner can help.
Contact Odell Studner to learn more
To learn more about our risk management and mitigation services, contact us today.