The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many businesses around the country to transition to remote work.

Employees have learned how to work from home and discovered what they can and can’t do outside of the office. Will this continue to be part of our new normal?

“Some predicted the great work-from-home migration of the pandemic would usher-in a new age of flexible work arrangements,” says an article from Bloomberg.

How can you as an employer revise your work from home policy?

It is nothing new that companies are changing their benefits packages to appeal to top talent, but now many may be considering making changes to their work from home policies. Numerous school districts across the country are still undecided about the status of the next school year, potentially putting parents in the situation of having children doing e-learning at home like they did this spring.

Organizations should continue to educate employees about how to navigate anxiety surrounding COVID, however, employees and candidates will appreciate family-friendly flexible policies during this time and will pay off to the employer in engagement spades. As all employers should know, engagement equals productivity.

Organizations also need to remember that the FFCRA’s Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency FMLA is still in effect.

“Flexible family-friendly policies are not only practical from turnover expense, maintaining organizational knowledge and employer branding perspective, but it is imperative to employee engagement that directly impacts that employee’s productivity,” says Apex’s HR Consultant and Internal Counsel, Brooke Salazar.

In an article from Vox, Kate Lister, president of consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics, says that more employees will want to continue to work from home after having to do it for some time. It has become normal to them and, in some cases, more comfortable. CEOs may be considering keeping some employees at home to help lower overhead costs, as the pandemic continues to have a huge impact on the economy. During all of this, they have seen how well some employees can do their jobs remotely and may not feel the need to make them come back to the workplace.

According to a Bloomberg article, employees working remotely are struggling with a work-life balance.

“With many living a few steps from their offices, America’s always-on work culture has reached new heights,” the article said.

It can be difficult for people to turn off their computers and stop working when they are not actually leaving the office. It is important to set office hours and know when it’s time to quit.

In addition, if remote work becomes the new normal, many wonder if they will lose the office culture they had before the pandemic.

“It has really forced us to go back to prioritizing communication with each other…I hope this is something we can take forward,” said Apex Compensation Consultant Katherine Bryant.

You can hear more about human resources topics from Bryant and Salazar in their podcast, Casually Caffeinated.

Reaching out to colleagues just to talk can be a positive disruption to your day. Hosting remote events like happy hour or lunch and learns can help keep office culture alive. Check out this blog from Apex on ways you can continue office culture remotely.

For more information about COVID-19, check out Apex’s COVID-19 Resource Page here and the Return to the Workplace page here.