The pandemic forced a rapid, largely ad hoc transition to remote work. As the crisis fades, businesses are grappling with the reality that operations will never completely return to what they once were. For decades, human capital management was cut and dry - 95% of office-based employees worked in an in-person setting with direct employer oversight. In a post-COVID landscape, 80% of those employees are reportedly choosing to work remotely long-term. Effectively managing a remote workforce comes with massive, and new, challenges.
How do you maintain the fabric that connects employees when they aren’t seeing each other in person? How do you best take care of your employees?
Business leaders must intentionally and intelligently support their teams so that those who choose to be in a remote environment are as successful as they can possibly be.
Considerations When Weighing Workforce Models
Supporting Your Remote Employees
Best Practices for Employers Returning to the Offices
Businesses that are going back into the office should follow their state and local guidelines in regard to mask requirements, social distancing, building capacity, and sanitation. Supporting employees’ health is always a good idea, but mandating vaccinations could expose you to lawsuits. As COVID19 moves from pandemic to an endemic disease, employers should look ahead and prepare for the possibility that vaccines become an annual necessity, akin to flu shots.
Benefits Considerations for Expanding Employee Geographies
Pursue National Coverage
Moving into a largely remote work environment creates the opportunity to hire talented people from anywhere in the country. However, businesses aligned with local or regional-only insurers will need to upgrade to a national platform to offer benefits to all employees irrespective of their geography.
Outsource Leave Management
Leave management for sick or injured employees and paid family leave is becoming increasingly difficult to manage in-house. Regulations vary from state to state, so going to a remote workforce can open your business to compliance complexity and real consequences in terms of meaningful fines, legal exposures, and reputational damage. We strongly recommend outsourcing leave management to third-party administrators or insurance companies whose primary activity is “managed absence”.
As we move from crisis management into long-term planning, employee support and paths to the greatest possible success for remote workers need to take center stage. Be proactive and thoughtful in your approach, do not assume success will come on its own.
Risk Strategies serves as a holistic, consultative business partner. We are actively working with our clients on employee support and benefits plans, tailored to their operations post-COVID. Contact us if you’re interested in discussing your options with experts in the field.
Follow along as The Other Side blog series continues to explore cross-industry implications and considerations of the world re-opening.