As companies create and enact plans to reopen worksites safely and consider the serious public health implications this will have on their workers, vendors, and customers, many Human Resources professionals are also pondering what the new normal will look like in the coming months and years. Likely, the precautions put in place now and during the gradual return to work will last far into 2021, having serious implications on company culture, according to one workplace authority.

“It is crucial that companies bring back their workers who have been laid off or furloughed, but it also must happen in a way that will protect them and the public. Employers are prepared to keep their teams working from home well into reopening, but for those who cannot, reasonable measures must be taken to protect these workers,” said Andrew Challenger, Senior Vice President of global outplacement and business and executive coaching firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.

The White House has offered guidelines to reopen non-essential businesses in a phased approach, which would require two weeks of declines in illnesses before reopening, as well as keeping social distancing practices in place, such as limiting the number of people in public places and using masks.

“While eager to get back to work, employers are preparing for an anxious workforce. It is imperative not only to worker safety, but to productivity, that employees feel their companies are taking every measure possible to limit the spread of the virus,” said Challenger.

Read More