As pandemic eases, which employees should you bring back into the workplace?

Many employees who were sent home at the start of the pandemic are in no rush to return to the workplace full time. When Ford Motor surveyed white-collar employees, 95% said they would prefer a mix of in-person and remote work after the pandemic ends.

The M--F, 9-5 genie isn't going back into the bottle. So, the "when" and "who" and "where" of returning your workers requires looking at these key questions, according to attorney Jon Hyman (see his column on vaccine decisions on page 6):

  1. How have employees performed while working remotely ... less productive, as productive, or more productive? Have they stayed connected and in communication? Can you trust them to continue to work remotely, or do they need closer monitoring?

  2. What is an employee's preference? Do they want to continue working remotely, prefer to return to a physical workspace, or some type of hybrid arrangement? Do they have long commutes, and will remote work create greater productivity?

  3. Does remote work make sense for your business moving forward? How interactive do your employees need to be in performing their jobs? Is their work highly collaborative, and will working around...

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