When 2020 began, not many business owners or executives were likely planning to redesign or significantly update their office policies and employee handbooks. In her article for Business 2 Communities, Cindy Joyce discusses how office policies, manuals and handbooks must be updated due to new work practices brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Work from Home Policies
A Gallup poll in April 2020 found that over 60 percent of Americans were working from home. Many months later, a lot of those employees are still home. Immediate pivots rightly focused on technological needs to support remote work and new standards for when it would be safe to reopen shared office spaces. Yet, as the pandemic continues to drag on, it’s crucial for business leaders to take a closer look at existing office and work policies.
Mask-Wearing and Social Distancing Policies
Whether working from home or in the office, policies governing how and where people work need to change. For example, I’m not aware of any organizations that had established policies for masks and social distancing at their office at the beginning of the year. Likewise, remote work presents potential issues for businesses. The Society for Human Resource Management released a survey of its members this spring that found that 71 percent of employers noted that adapting to remote work has been a challenge. A key component to that struggle is how to revise company policies to meet this new reality.
Successful businesses are constantly evolving in order to grow. Such adaptation is required during the pandemic as well. As your business adjusts, so too should your company policies and handbooks. With clear guidelines, employees will feel empowered and businesses will be better positioned to survive and thrive.