Companies who originally planned to bring their employees back into the office after Labor Day have once again been forced to delay their plans due to the surge of Covid-19 cases.
Google recently announced it would postpone its reopening date to January 2022, which was a delay from its October return date. Other organizations like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook have also announced postponements.
According to a Gartner survey, 66% of companies are delaying their office return due to the Delta variant.
Companies are weighing out multiple factors when considering their return to the office. This includes the cost of delays, policies to implement when employees do return, and how to reconfigure the office to create a safe environment.
However, there are risks in waiting too long to bring employees back into the office. For instance, some research has indicated that full-time remote work can have a negative impact on the mental health of employees.
Still, the main takeaway of this era is that leaders need to be willing to listen to what employees require to be productive and efficient.
“Employees want to understand the rationale for decisions,” said Kate Bullinger, CEO of the management consultancy United Minds. “And they also understand that the situation is really fluid. If leaders could be authentic about that, and communicate that in a clear and consistent way, that goes a long way with employees.”