Equitable Return To Work Plan

Problem

In March 2020 Covid-19 forced Client to convert its people to a work-from-home
model on an emergency and evolving basis. During16 months of mandatory quarantines,
blurred work/personal boundaries, shifting health regulations, and remote employment
dynamics, many people (re-)evaluated their priorities-considering their values related to health,
culture, and career/life balance. The Client wanted to return people to the office for optimal
business operations without triggering employee resignations due to health, safety, or morale
issues.

Solution

We conducted a Return-to-Office survey to assess employee attitudes and concerns.
We identified 4 priorities in the data: value of flexibility, increased efficiency, improved physical
and mental health, and desire for an ongoing hybrid model. We designed a multi-phased hybrid
return-to-work plan that accounted for business performance, employee preferences, prevailing
health mandates and best practices, and hybrid feasibility by role. In this process, 3 approved
hybrid options were created and new cultural work norms were outlined. The plan was
socialized and implemented over a 4-month window, reintegrating employees in waves by
workgroups.

Results

The reintroduction to office work and the hybrid model were successfully implemented with 0 resulting employee resignations.

This responsive and dynamic approach disrupted centuries-old work paradigms by capitalizing on employee insights about drivers for retention. Technology was effectively leveraged to ease candidate burdens and broaden talent pools resulting in higher hiring numbers among under-represented minorities.

The Client's agile and sensitive response to a universal crisis increased employees' feelings of trust, goodwill, inclusion, and engagement that will bear positive fruit long after this pandemic is alleviated.