When can I bring my employees back? Helping local businesses look to the future

Posted at 6:19 AM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 06:19:58-05

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — With the COVID-19 numbers rising yet again in Western New York, companies with employees who are working from home may be readjusting the timeframe to bring them back to the office.

When the pandemic started in March, many companies were hoping to have employees back in the office by the fall or early 2021, but for many that timeline is now changing.

"Those companies are really not planning on fully re-opening -or re-opening - some haven't gone back at all - until mid 2021, or even I'm starting to hear January 2022," explained Christine Vargas, with Vargas Associates.

Vargas has been working with companies to re-develop their workspaces following the pandemic. She says the open, collaborative environments many have will change. Many employees now value their personal space more than ever, and that might mean changes to office layouts. In many cases, if it's working for some departments to stay at home, they might stay that way for the foreseeable future.

As companies work to develop what their offices and future work-from-home plans will look like, Vargas strongly suggests they include their employees in the decisions that are being made. She says change is hard for many people, and it's important for workers to feel like their opinions are being considered.

"The mere fact that they're included as part of the process of the change - and in the end we're trying to implement the best of what was brought to the table - that goes a very long way," she explained.

If you're a local business owner and you're looking for some guidance, Vargas is working with the Amherst Chamber of Commerce giving a presentation on how to move forward.

It takes place December 1st. If you're interested in signing up, you can find all of the information right here.