Stephanie Balaouras, VP, Group Director
Businesses tentatively planning to bring employees back to the workplace after the coronavirus pandemic are awash in uncertainty. As many geographies move into phase three of the pandemic, employers have concerns about public health risks, the best way to bring employees back safely, and the duration of the economic recovery.
In this episode of What It Means, Vice President and Group Director Stephanie Balaouras discusses the value of scenario planning in strategizing your organization’s return from the pandemic.
“Businesses need to understand that this isn’t an episodic event where it will suddenly be over and it’s back to business as normal,” Balaouras says. “There’s going be a new set of normal.” For example, certain regions may have to revert back to phase two if there is a significant reemergence of the coronavirus, and businesses would then need to adjust again.
Also in this episode, Balaouras explores the recommendations in Forrester’s research on pandemic management protocols, which provide guidance on how to bring employees back into the work environment. “You don’t want to bring everyone back at once, because if there are second waves of infection, you could be exposing your employee population en masse to a reinfection. Think about bringing employees back in stages.”
Other concerns for employers include how to maintain social distancing in an office setting and determining if employees should wear personal protective equipment in the workplace.
Balaouras also makes the point that how employers treat employees now will have a significant impact on their ability to attract and retain talent in the future, once long-term demand and business picks up again.