After a year-and-a-half of remote operations, many companies are now eyeballing Labor Day to have employees return to the office. But it’ll be far from business as usual. The post-pandemic reality requires that companies approach their business in a new way, especially in order to remain competitive and retain or attract talent in this changing landscape.

“There’s a lot to consider as companies move into the new normal,” said Tracey Best, director of the Employee Benefits Practice Group at C3. “They must now take a fresh look at what has and hasn’t worked over the past year, how to address employee concerns, and what strategies and plans must be put in place so they can continue to thrive.”

While those strategies and plans may look a bit different from company to company, they should include some common considerations, starting with health and safety protocols. Enforcing social distancing and mask-wearing, ensuring clean and sanitized work areas, and aligning on how to handle mandated vaccinations should all be top of mind for employers. This last point, however, remains a gray area, given HIPAA, OSHA and EEOC laws.

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