Project Management

Returning to Work: Employee Engagement is the Key

San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Troy is the CEO and Founder of Aspiri Consulting, Inc. in San Francisco.

The rapid deployment of stay-at-home orders drove one of the fastest and most dramatic changes in the workplace we have probably ever seen—a change for which few were prepared. Companies were forced to close workplaces practically overnight. Businesses shifted to remote working practices and technology with little time to prepare for a smooth transition. In many cases, employees and their managers were forced to navigate the new working environment with little guidance. Limited communication, scarce training, and unclear expectations were the norm. 

As stay-at-home orders are beginning to be relaxed, we have the opportunity to manage the return-to-work (RTW) process pragmatically and strategically. Most importantly, we must proceed in a way that keeps our employees safe. Their health, and that of their loved ones, are the responsibility of the employer as they plan the return to the workplace. The CDC has issued a 21-page “Resuming Business TOOLKIT” that employers can use to work through many considerations, including:

  • Approach – Many are considering a phased return based on a prioritization of work functions, or the possibility of some functions being converted to remote permanently.
  • Workplace protocols – Options including daily temperature checks, wellness check-ins, staggered arrival times, shared space (e.g., elevator, break …

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