Close
Learning Methods
Classroom
A traditional classroom couples on-site learning with the added value of face-to-face interaction with instructors and peers. With courses and exams scheduled worldwide, you will be sure to find a class near you.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via face-to-face
Components (May Include)
Onsite
On-site instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available two weeks prior to the course start date; printed course materials ship directly to the event location
Duration
One + Days
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple days
Technical Needs
Specific requirements are clearly noted on the course page
Virtual Classroom
Ideal for those who appreciate live education instruction, but looking to save on travel. A virtual classroom affords you many of the same learning benefits as traditional–all from the convenience of your office.
Interaction
Highly Interactive
On-going interaction with instructor throughout the entire virtual classroom event
Interaction with peers/professionals via online environment
Components (May Include)
Live online instructor-led delivery of course modules, discussions, exercises, case studies, and application opportunities
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, tools and templates, articles and/or white papers
E-course materials available up to one week prior to the course start date. Recorded playback and supplemental materials available up to seven days after the live event.
Duration
Varies by course ranging from one to multiple sessions
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Phone line access
E-Learning
A self-paced, online learning experience that allows you to study any time of day. Course material is pre-recorded by an instructor and you have the flexibility to view content modules as desired.
Interaction
Independent Learning
Components (May Include)
Pre-Recorded
Pre-recorded course modules
Supplemental learning elements such as: audio/video files, online quizzes
E-course materials start on the day of purchase
Optional purchased print material ships within 7 business days
Duration
120 Days - Anytime
120-day access starts on the day of purchase
Direct access to all components
Technical Needs
Adobe Flash Player
Acrobat Reader
Computer with sound capability and high-speed internet access
Close
Contact Sponsor
E-Reward
Online
Paul Thompson
Phone: 1 44 01614322584
Contact by Email | Website
Close
Sorry, you can't add this item to the cart.
You have reached the maximum allowed quantity for purchase in your cart or the item isn't available anymore.
Product successfully added to your cart!
Price
View your cart
Continue shopping
Please note our website will be down this Friday, November 5 from 9pm ET – 11pm ET for routine maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.
WORKSPAN
WORKSPAN DAILY |

The Delta Variant Effect: Rethinking Return to Work



As Mike Tyson once succinctly put it, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” 

 

Many employers have been anxiously waiting for the approach of fall to launch their carefully laid out return-to-workplace plans. The hope was with the supposed return to in-person school, most workers can come back to the office at least much of the time.



 

Then the Delta variant arrived, bringing with it increased anxiety about breakthrough infections. Many employers are now scrambling to reconsider their return-to-work plans. As cases surged and vaccination rates flatlined, companies like Apple, Twitter, Disney, JP Morgan and Walmart began to reevaluate their original return-to-office schedules with strict vaccine mandates and delayed reopenings, or closed offices altogether until further notice.

 

This is a stressful situation for everyone. Many managers have invested a lot of time and energy building programs for a safe and productive workplace return, and they’re naturally eager to get the ball rolling. Meanwhile, recent Glassdoor and Harris polls of workers show that more than 80% of employees are excited about going back to the office in at least some capacity, even as the two-thirds also feel at least some anxiety about their return. 

 

As frustrating as this current situation may be, it’s also an opportunity for employers to demonstrate real empathy and creativity, by ensuring that their return plans remain agile and resilient. Here are just a few key things organizations can do to put their best foot forward on the road back to office life:  

 

·         Think Safety First: As obvious as it sounds, in times like this, physical and psychological safety need to be paramount. The only way a return to workplace can possibly be successful is by absolutely assuring baseline safety. 

 

·         Make Decisions That Work for Your Workplace: No two companies are the same, and your decisions about return to workplace and employee/customer safety need to be informed by the makeup of your workforce, whether employees are located in close quarters or can work remotely, the degree to which close collaboration is needed within work teams, and the degree to which employees work with the public or vulnerable populations — as in health care, education and social services. Employee preferences should also be prioritized. 

 

·         Keep Whole-Person Values in Mind: Plans should be made in light of Whole-Person values, in which employers consider the work-life challenges and stressors of their employees when making decisions. This always holds true, but in the midst of a pandemic, it’s simply mandatory. A whole-person mindset allows employers to develop custom solutions, including flexible scheduling, child care or elder care solutions, wellness programs and other important employee benefits where needed. By helping your employees feel better about life priorities outside work, you are ensuring that they feel better about priorities inside the workplace. 

 

·         Support Working Parents: The last 18 months have been hell on working parents, faced with the twin challenges of conducting work at home while worrying about the health of their children. As they face the equally challenging anxieties of returning to the workplace and having their children return to school (or having school or child care disrupted by a new outbreak), employers need to be especially mindful. To cite just one example, employers can allow for flexible schedules that enable parents to drop off and pick up at school as needed — a substantial stress-reducer. 

 

·         Listen and Respond: As never before, employers need to recommit to listening to employee concerns and feedback. Now is the time for open ears. Some employees really want to come back to the office, others may not, some may want vaccine and mask mandates, others may not. You will likely not be able to satisfy everyone, but listening and responding with empathy is the best path to greater commitment and retention. By the same token, employers need to state their return to workplace policies as clearly as possible, while also acknowledging that these plans may be altered due to changing circumstances. 

 

·         Stay Flexible: A transition of this size can’t possibly take place overnight. Smart employers should continue to retain some of the elements of workplace flexibility they’ve had all year, even if the ultimate goal is a complete return to the office. 

 

By exercising patience and compassion, employers and employees can be nimble and resilient in the face of the Delta surge and whatever other challenges the future may hold, while ensuring continuity of business and customer service. After all, it’s likely that COVID has more variants up its sleeve, and that there will be other disruptions in the future. Having survived this, an organization can survive a whole lot more. 

 

While you may not be able to fully execute your original back-to-workplace plan, you will be able to chart a path forward — with creativity, flexibility and consideration of employee needs at the forefront. 

 

About the Author


Scott Behson is a professor of management and Silberman Global Faculty Fellow at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business, and author of The Whole-Person Workplace: Building Better Workplaces through Work-Life, Wellness and Employee Support.


About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is a professional nonprofit association that sets the agenda and standard of excellence in the field of Total Rewards. Our membership, signature certifications, data, content, and conferences are designed to advance our members’ leadership, and to help them influence great outcomes for their own organizations.

About Membership

Membership provides access to practical resources, research, emerging trends, a professional network, and career-building education and certification. Learn more and join today.