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Watch: Optimizing Re-entry for Your Workforce and Workplace

June 25, 2020

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Optimizing Re-Entry for Your Workforce and Workplace

The COVID-19 global pandemic has disrupted both the near-term and long-term dynamics between workforce and workplace decisions. Deloitte has conducted over 100 discussions with companies regarding their plans for workforce and workplace re-entry. Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Darin Buelow, principal and global location strategy leader, and David Parent, the Michigan managing principal, spoke with members about their findings on re-entry for the workplace.

Transitioning from Response to Recovery
Buelow discussed the “reboot phase” where businesses can position themselves for recovery. By breaking the reboot phases into three segments, businesses can establish a holistic approach to help minimize risk to workplace health and safety, maximize productivity, and enable sales.

  • Work: Are businesses returning to the way they worked before or adopting new ways of working?
  • Workforce: How do businesses safely and effectively bring the workforce back to work?
  • Workplace: Where does work get done, and how do businesses enable effective collaborations and productivity?

The reboot phase will not come immediately as companies ask questions like:

  • When can we reboot?
  • How are we ready to reboot?
  • How do we reboot and how do we spur and maintain recovery?

This is generally based on macro conditions, things that are somewhat outside the control of the company themselves.

“This full journey of a reboot is expected to occur over multiple phases and may kind of have fits and starts. We’re going to be in a clunky period it seems, in the United States in the months and maybe the quarters to come,” said Buelow.

Workplace Re-Entry
Deloitte has uncovered several findings to help office tenants set a path toward recovery. Some of the research they have analyzed hints toward how companies are shifting to the work from home environment long-term. For instance, 35% of the pre-COVID-19 workforce would be able to work remotely long-term. Findings also show that 2.5 hours is the average time that it would take to load an elevator with elevator distancing and other safety protocols. Many companies are taking their time, putting the safety and health of employees first and really being measured about how they re-enter. August 2021 is an estimated time period when companies will feel safe enough to send all their employees back to work.

“We’re witnessing this as we see more companies delay re-entry into buildings,” said Buelow. “Many corporate leaders are taking a conservative approach, slow, careful, and steady seems to be the philosophy of the day, in terms of re-entry.”

Talent analytics, return-to-office surveys, scenario planning, and re-entry tactics are the keys to understanding who could remain at home long-term, what space will be needed, and how much re-entry may cost.

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