Work flexibility ‘here to stay’ in post-Covid world, says director at three Fortune 500 companies

Companies are monitoring the unfold of the delta Covid variant as they adapt return-to-office plans and prioritize giving flexibility to workers, a board member at three Fortune 500 companies informed CNBC on Friday.

“I believe there’s going to continue to be hybrid offerings. … Flexibility is here to stay, especially if you want to be competitive for talent,” mentioned Shellye Archambeau, a director at Verizon, Nordstrom and Roper Technologies. She’s additionally a former CEO of MetricStream, which makes governance, threat administration and compliance software program.

Archambeau mentioned that enterprise’ reopening considerations are being pushed by the extremely transmissible delta variant, first found in India. It’s now the dominant pressure of Covid in the United States and inflicting instances and deaths to increase again, significantly throughout largely unvaccinated communities.

“Companies are watching the data very carefully,” Archambeau mentioned. “What I’m seeing is they’re trying to remain flexible, creating the optionality for employees to come back to work but still watching the numbers and how the rates are going.”

Archambeau’s remarks come as main companies strive to work out how to safely return to the workplace.

Few companies are mandating workers to be absolutely vaccinated earlier than returning to the workplace, Archambeau mentioned. Instead, she mentioned companies are strongly encouraging and making an attempt to make it simpler for workers to get vaccinated, even making it voluntary to return to the workplace and inspiring mask-wearing and bodily distancing protocols for unvaccinated staff.

According to a survey conducted in April by Arizona State University with help from the Rockefeller Foundation, greater than 60% of companies in the U.S. would require proof of vaccination from their workers whereas 44% would require all workers to get vaccinated and 31% will encourage vaccinations.

Archambeau, a strategic advisor to the president of ASU, mentioned that peer strain will quickly start to play an even bigger function in pushing workers to get vaccinated.

More workers may additionally return to the workplace when youngsters get vaccinated, permitting them to regularly go to faculty, take part in in-person actions and depend on child-care companies.

“I think as time goes through, companies are absolutely strongly encouraging employees to be vaccinated,” Archambeau mentioned. “The way in which they’ll be able to work, the kinds of roles they’ll be able to play, I think, in time will be affected by whether they’re vaccinated or not. … People will want to be vaccinated in order to actually do well within the company.”

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