COVID-19 has forever changed our lives and left an enormous impact on the way we work, learn, socialize and communicate. As we prepare to enter the next phase of the pandemic response, we need to consider the needs of our staff because, without them, it would be difficult if not impossible to provide the goods and services we deliver to our customers and communities.

Companies need to begin planning for what this transition demands. Although every organization is unique and will have their own considerations pertaining to their business models, we have highlighted a few key areas that every organization should include in their transition planning:


As we have been working through the challenges and operational changes due to the pandemic, your communications plan has most certainly evolved as well. Providing updates to your employees and stakeholders has likely been more frequent as the twists and turns of the response continues.

If your workforce is working remotely at this time, you will need to discuss how everyone will transition back, if that is the plan. Most organizations are planning to phase their staff back into the work environment. Your executive team and management team will provide information to the staff regarding the plan. However, two-way communication is also needed. Your employees may have questions and concerns that need to be considered and addressed prior to the transition. These may include:

  • Facilities’ sanitization and disinfection
  • Social distancing at work
  • Health and safety (protocol change for illness)
  • Family support (childcare, online learning, eldercare, etc.)
  • Continued remote work opportunities
  • Concerns about returning to the workspace

A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) could be included on your intranet to provide helpful information to your staff. You may also consider the use of a helpline or support call center to provide additional information and support to employees during the transition.

Returning to the Work Environment

Once you have completed the process of sanitizing and disinfecting the work environment, you should also assess whether the workspace allows for the recommended social distancing. You may need to consider moving desks and equipment into new configurations to ensure the proper spacing. Although currently recommended for COVID-19, the six-foot spacing can be helpful for decreasing the impact of general colds and flu. The CDC provides strong guidelines on cleaning facilities and workspaces.

Now you can begin bringing your workforce back into the work environment. If you have ever had to relocate your organization, you have probably already utilized a phased approach, which allows your IT team to dedicate the time and resources needed to set up office equipment and troubleshoot as needed.

The phased approach also allows your workforce the necessary time to ensure that their family needs are supported as well. However, you may need to consider that some staff may need to continue to work remotely due to their family requirements. Are you able to be flexible with your workforce?

For many organizations, the current pandemic has caused a huge shift in the status quo of operations, and we now have a new reality in how the work gets done. However, the one constant is that we need to support the health and well-being of our staff so they can support others.


The current pandemic has identified how closely we are all connected and that this connection can have a serious impact on our health. Organizations need to rethink many of their current work practices in order to maintain the highest level of physical and psychological health for their staff. This includes:

  • Extending personal hygiene protocols / etiquette
  • Enhancement of cleaning practices
  • Health tracking / testing
  • Physical layout of meeting areas
  • Lunchrooms / cafeterias
  • Sick policies / Illness reporting
  • Visitors/contractors/vendors on-site

Each organization will have their unique hurdles and obstacles to address, but one thing is certain: By addressing them early and monitoring continued events, your workforce can feel supported during the transition into a post-pandemic work environment.