Returning to Work: Mandates, Policies, and Everything In Between

The Spring of 2021 brought promises of warm weather and the phrase “We are outside!” The availability of vaccines along with declining infection rates led many to believe that the pandemic was moving to the rear view mirror. Plans for a return to “normal” were in the making and many employers moved ahead with solidifying workplace plans and managing the gradient of options from fully virtual to in-person environments. But what a difference a day makes! The COVID-19 Delta variant made its debut and became the central source of a renewed surge in COVID-19 cases.

Today’s headlines in print, via broadcast as well as across social media contain a daily dose of  COVID-19 and pandemic related topics. Subjects such as vaccine and/or mask mandates often spark heated debate. The economic impact of the lingering global pandemic remains at the forefront of conversation. Balancing the need to provide effective education at the primary and secondary level with the safety of students and staff has placed parents and school systems in many cases in opposing corners. Employers struggle to create effective workplace policies while employees use their pandemic lense to identify and vocalize their expectation of work life balance. In all of these scenarios there is an undeniable human component and human resource departments are at the epicenter. 

In our upcoming five-part blog series entitled “Return-to-Work: Mandates, Policies and Everything In Between”, The HR Source will explore the primary challenges that employers and employees are facing. The series will begin with a look at the pros and cons of vaccine mandates in the context of current CDC and EEOC guidance and the considerations employers must make in determining their position on vaccine requirements.  A discussion of mandates is not complete without a discussion of employer policies. Part 2 will share the recommendations for the development and execution of vaccine related workplace policies. In Part 3 we will explore the impact of hybrid and remote working on workplace culture and the evolving influences of employee needs for flexibility. HR Departments – The Pandemic Effect will explore the changing and expanding role of HR departments as employers traverse unknown territory with employment. The blog series will close with an exploration of “The Great Resign”, a newly coined term that describes the mass, voluntary exodus from the workforce and how employers must recognize and address it. 

Each Tuesday, for the next five weeks, we will post our newest installment. It is our hope that you find the information both thought provoking and informative. We encourage you to reach out to The HR Source for assistance with any of your HR needs as they relate to the subject matters we will cover in this series or any other assistance you may need. Since 1994, The HR Source has been a leader in providing human resource staffing and management solutions. Call today for a free consultation 301-459-3133. 

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