Are we there yet?
Post Pandemic Planning

When the pandemic started a year ago, employers had to react quickly to an unknown crisis with vague and conflicting information and significant employee concerns.


HR professionals were particularly challenged.  There were ever changing guidelines, newly emerging medical information, and even politics entering the fray, adding to the confusion.  There was the challenge of connecting with and engaging employees while they worked remotely, some with kids who were in and out and in and out of school.  

It’s been an interesting twelve months.


As vaccines become more easily available and restrictions are loosened, employers are looking to the future to determine what the post Covid workplace will be like.  Will we return to what we’ve always done?  Do something new?  Will we land somewhere in the middle?  The good news is that this time around, we will have more space to plan and prepare for the return than we did for the exit.


Whatever we do will be another significant change.  Change, of course, is uncomfortable so it will be important to do it well.  Here are some suggestions that we have for navigating the change to a post pandemic workplace:


  • Communicate a lot:  A year ago employees understood that circumstances were changing quickly and employers weren’t necessarily driving the decisions.  This time is different.  We (hopefully!) can plan ahead for our next steps and communicate them in advance so employees have time to prepare and adapt.
  • Engage employees in the process:  Employees have proven themselves to be resilient, creative, and resourceful.  Keep that energy going by engaging them in the process for what’s next.  From virtual water coolers and electronic birthday cards to setting up creative home offices, employees have demonstrated their ability to find ways to be successful.  
  • Keep safety a priority:  We’ve learned a lot about safe practices during the pandemic.  Keep those.  We’re not certain when we will be out of the woods and your employees will appreciate appropriate efforts to keep them safe.
  • Try new things:  We’ve successfully learned creative ways to accomplish our work.  Don’t go back to the old ways without giving consideration to what we’ve learned recently.
  • Be supportive:  People have had a tough year on many fronts.  We can help by being supportive and limiting additional surprises heading their way.

As the pandemic unfolded, the organizations we work with handled these challenges with care, compassion, and flexibility.  It was no small feat.  Like the palm tree that has survived a year of neglect in my office, we’ve come out the other side, maybe a little more bruised, but definitely stronger. Let’s make certain that we make the return easier than the exit.  

Interested in more?

Proactive HR