3 areas businesses mostly focus on as they reopen the office

Are you planning to allow employees to work from home full time for the remainder of 2021? Or are you calling everyone back as people continue to get vaccinated? Those seem to be the two main scenarios employers are dealing with as they decide whether to set up remote, hybrid or traditional offices this year.

While some businesses have already decided, others are still trying to figure it out. Kastle Systems, an office security firm, says data from 3,600 buildings across the United States shows that 25 percent of employees are already back in the office. A Mercer study said 83 percent of businesses are talking about a hybrid setup where some employees work from home a few days a week.

If your office is bringing people back full-time for a hybrid setup, here are some important areas to focus on with your team.

1 – Safety

Your top concern will be office safety as there are some risks even with an entirely vaccinated workforce. You’ll want to continue to monitor the local health department data for your area. It’s also important to ensure you’re following any government mandates. By making safety the top priority, you’ll be able to bring your employees back on-site in a safe manner.

2 – Strike a balance

There are no hard-and-fast rules of how hybrid workplaces should be set up. Consulting firm PwC found that executives want employees back in the office at least three days per week. Meanwhile, about 55 percent of employees want to work remotely three days a week.

Companies like Microsoft have set up hybrid workplaces that allow their employees to have flexibility. Those who need to work in the office or need additional services have options in the office. Those who want to work from home can do so.

3 – Focus on the person’s circumstances

As HR professionals, focusing on people is extraordinarily important in this process.

Newer staff may benefit from support in the office, particularly those hired during the pandemic. Other employees may be working from home while they care for relatives or their kids. That group should not have to report right away as they continue to transition during these uncertain times.

Whatever your company uses, think about creating an equal playing field for all your workers as everyone adapts to the changes.

Another important thing to think about is the commute. If your employees are going back to the office, you’ll want them to have commuter benefits. Commuter benefits allow them to save money and use it to pay for commuting expenses like parking or mass transit. Companies will save on payroll taxes as well. To learn more, visit www.commuterbenefits.com.