Industry News

Trends to expect when transitioning back to the in-person workforce

June 30, 2021
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As the country reopens, businesses are in a state of transition. Some are calling for all their employees to work on-site, while others are adopting a hybrid model.

What are companies doing to return to pre-pandemic normalcy? And what operational items have changed for good? Here are some perspectives.

Office space may need to be reserved in advance

Employers that won't have their full workforce returning at once are reconfiguring workspaces to use the space most efficiently. With this on-site change, remote workers who come to the office only periodically might be required to book their office space in advance. Condeco Software, an office management technology firm, says employers should set up an online platform for workers to see what work areas are available for their use and where other team members are situated.         

HR technology will expand

A survey of HR leaders reports that their budgets jumped between 2020 and 2021, much of it earmarked for new technology, with 51% of respondents expecting to integrate a new technology solution in the next 12 months. As workers begin to come back to the office, HR departments will still be saddled with navigating the many compliance, tax and payroll questions associated with remote workers. The acquisition and onboarding of a geographically diverse set of new employees will also add to HR burdens. Deel, Remote and Oyster are just a few companies that help manage these complexities.  

Communications may take longer

The advantage of being able to discuss a project with a fellow on-site employee or to get your question answered immediately in a quick hallway meeting won't exist with a partially returned workforce, affecting how employees communicate. Some online communication platforms have already picked up on this trend and made changes. Slack, for example, is experimenting with asynchronous communication features, like "do not disturb" notifications and prerecorded video messages. Employers may need to establish new protocols to keep communications flowing.

Cybersecurity will remain an ongoing priority

One thing that will not change as employees return, in whole or in part, is the ever-present threat of cyberattacks. It is essential for companies to have firm cybersecurity protocols and make sure that employees are regularly drilled—especially as some employees work remotely. Commonsense precautions such as banning employees from working on personal devices and setting up multi-part authentication passwords are more important than ever in cutting down your risk and protecting your intellectual property.

The transition back to a full or partial returning workforce will have unexpected bumps. Being aware of even some of the challenges and preparing for them now can help you and your employees make the transition smoother.

Ricoh has Cloud, Security and a wide range of remote work solutions to meet your digital transformation needs. Watch the video to learn more: