How to Plan Your Return To Work Strategy

Posted by Colleen Haberman on Aug 10, 2021 10:00:00 AM

The return to the office—and the hybrid workplace—are hot topics for C-level executives across the nation, as companies decide how and where team members will work going forward. But creating a new way to work, in which some people work 100% in the office, some work 100% at home and others do a bit of both, presents a challenge for employers. How do you start? Who works from where? How do you set up your offices differently today?

Some of your workers may have returned to the office (or will be shortly) and you’ve got a plan to get them up, running, and successful. But does your technology reflect that plan? There’s a lot to consider: safety signage and announcements, navigating a healthy workplace with social distancing and touchless capabilities, and utilizing the space to you have effectively for your new capacity requirements.

Below are some key takeaways for your return to work strategy that will help you integrate health and safety into your return to the office plan and build a successful hybrid workforce.

1. Gain a competitive edge

COVID-19 changed the way people worked and cemented a desire to work remotely. Hybrid work strategies will allow your company to retain and recruit top talent by offering flexible work options. A study by Microsoft found that 41% of the global workforce would consider leaving their current employer within the next year. Job seekers increasingly have the upper hand in today’s job market, with employers competing for a finite labor pool. A survey by ZipRecruiter showed that 38% of job seekers desire positions in which they can work remotely—and there’s no doubt that the truly talented workers will be getting what they want.

2. Consider your end goal

Is your goal to ensure everyone eventually returns to the office because your business cannot support remote work? Your HR team can help define how that looks in terms of facilities planning, creating business continuity plans for essential workers, technology and more. What will your return to the office schedule look like? If your end goal is hybrid—where your employee base is mixed between office, home and a combination of both—it’s still essential to ensure people feel comfortable going back to the office and being in larger group settings.

3. Prioritize the comfort level of your team members

"The safety and wellbeing of our team members and their families was and continues to be a top priority," says Colleen Haberman, ConvergeOne's vice president, human resources. "This focus drove us to listen to and communicate with our team members during every step of the process."

You may need to vary your return-to-office approach depending on the geography of your team members, because each area has a different experience with COVID-19. The comfort level and local safety concerns may drive different timetables and plans for returning to the office.

4. Determine who works where

Employee input will be helpful, but ultimately management must determine which people and jobs must be done in the office and at what frequency. Consider updating or creating a Hybrid Work Policy to provide clarity, support organizational consistency, and help managers designate virtual or hybrid roles based on job requirements, team member preference, and business needs.


9 Critical Steps for Your Return To Work Strategy


Topics: Human Resources, Remote Working, Business Continuity


Colleen Haberman
Colleen Haberman  -- Colleen brings more than 25 years of experience in human resources to her role. She previously held executive roles at Univita Health Inc., BioScrip, Express Scripts and Prudential Home Mortgage (now Wells Fargo Home Mortgage). Colleen holds a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota.