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As the coronavirus slowly becomes an endemic around the country, HR teams are weighing caution, health, safety, flexibility, and their employees’ comfort levels in their plans to return to the workplace.   

Given the hiring challenges so many companies are facing today, employers are working hard to get return-to-work plans right. There are several viable approaches.  

Leslie Tarnacki, SVP of Human Resources at WorkForce Software, said her U.S. operations remain virtual, but she anticipates transitioning to a hybrid work environment toward the end of the first quarter. 

“Six to 12 months ago, we were planning to be back to an in-person office structure or minimally hybrid office attendance, but this ever-evolving virus makes it difficult to solidly forecast anything,” she said.  

“[Future] plans won’t be drastically different because we’ve always been agile and able to pivot in response to changes in different regions to different COVID spikes. We have evaluated things monthly to be sure we’re not rushing into anything that could put our employees at risk.”  

Tarnacki added that her company is fortunate it has the technology and leadership to support an agile work environment. She said supporting employees with the right thing for their specific situation is crucial, whether it be through ongoing virtual work or a hybrid schedule.  

“We continually conduct surveys and meetings, allowing our employees the opportunity to communicate questions, concerns and general feelings about returning to the office,” she said.