The first half of 2020 has been a rare time indeed. The COVID-19 virus knocked everyone for a loop, sending people home to work and others to the unemployment line. It will take a while for the people and the economy to recover. Businesses shuttered their offices in fear of spreading the virus, and then the government officially mandated their closure. That mandate caused millions of people to lose their jobs and file for unemployment benefits. Fortunately for some, many companies were already capable of sending their workforce home to keep operations going. When those people get back to work, they will face new challenges that no one could have predicted at the close of 2019. The challenges facing business in the second half of 2020 will be unlike any seen before.
Bringing people back to work won’t be as simple as making some phone calls and saying, “See you on Monday.” There is going to be fear among the populace venturing back outdoors and into the world after many months. Naturally, some of them will be afraid of getting sick and taking it home to their families, while others are not. Companies will have to tread lightly when bringing their workforce back in and make some decisions on a case-by-case basis, allowing those who are hesitant to come back continue to work from home until they are comfortable being back in the office.
Getting Talent in the Door
At the outset of the pandemic, companies had to lay off lots of people. Demand for goods and services fell, and they had no choice but to reduce their workforces. The hope is that once the economy gets back to where it was, companies will be able to bring their people back. It might not be that easy, though. Some that got laid off may have moved on to other jobs, and now companies begin the hiring and training process again. Competition for talent will be even more fierce than usual.
Adapting to the Office Again
People have adjusted to working from home over the weeks and months of the shutdown. They’ve grown accustomed to sleeping in, wearing PJs and sweatpants all day, and taking it easy at home. Having to set the alarm, get ready for work, and battle traffic is going to be an adjustment. While most people want to get back to work, no one is smiling at the prospect of joining the “rat race” again.
Motivating a Spread-Out Workforce
Keeping the team motivated is never easy. Having everyone working remotely, though, makes it somewhat easier because they are all in the same boat, adrift at sea. As workers trickle back into the office and the remote team stays remote, keeping them productive will take some work. Office employees and remote employees require different motivational approaches. Businesses will have to make sure they don’t forget about the remote teams.