Post-Pandemic Office Strategies Take Shape

Nearly half (48 percent) of large global organizations will not track the vaccination status of their employees, while eight percent will require employees to show proof of vaccination. The findings, from a survey by Gartner of 227 HR leaders, also revealed that 45 percent of respondents expect workplaces to reopen in third quarter 2021 while 24 percent plan on them reopening in this year’s fourth quarter.

“Given the uncertainty that will exist around vaccination status, most organizations that reopen will do so with social distancing and mask-wearing in place,” says Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice. “Regardless of reopening plans, only one percent of the HR leaders we surveyed expect all of their employees to work full-time in the office.”

The majority of organizations are planning for a hybrid workforce—59 percent of the HR leaders Gartner surveyed said their organization will let employees work remote occasionally with approval from their manager, a 21-point increase since November 2020.

The survey also found that 36 percent of respondents plan to have employees self-report vaccination status but not require proof; 49 percent will let employees work remote on certain days and 32 percent will let them work remote all of the time; 20 percent believe that normal business travel will resume in six to nine months while 35 percent admit they don’t know when they will resume employee business travel; and nearly all (95 percent) have resumed hiring.

“When offices reopen, many individuals will have been working from home for nearly two years or more and new ways of working will be engrained,” says Kropp. “It will be critical for employers to focus on building social and emotional connections with, and between, their employees again.”

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