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collage of head shots and images of male and female workers (Photo: Shutterstock)

A little more than a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) first discovered the COVID-19 virus, it feels almost quaint now to come back across articles from early in the pandemic when the expectation was that maybe employees would have to work from home for a few months. Fast forward a full year later and it is only now that companies are announcing, and beginning to implement, plans to bring employees back into their physical offices. As the pandemic defied people’s hopes and predictions, and as timelines initially conceived of as weeks were extended to months, and from months to years, it became increasingly evident that not only would we be seeing long-term changes and effects in the business world, some of these changes would likely be permanent.

Since part of the challenge in 2020 was not knowing what to expect, having a realistic sense of what employees might want, need, and demand will help organizations, their HR teams, and benefits professionals navigate the future more confidently.

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