The Next Normal

In this challenging time, it is important for businesses to keep their people at the forefront of every decision. We have launched a Back to the Office process, helping organizations bridge the gap between their emergency response plans and normal operations, including the current recovery from COVID-19. The holistic, four-step process enables a structured return to the office once regulatory restrictions are lifted, with specific considerations for the human, machine, physical and digital dimensions of the workplace.

Our guidance on navigating the return to the office provides you with a framework for a robust approach with the following priorities:

  • Safety: Concrete guidelines to keep employees healthy and engaged in all locations.
  • Equity: This challenging environment is affecting everyone differently. Let us help you make sure all your people feel supported.
  • Choice: Health and safety are very personal issues. Empower your people with the freedom to choose what is best for their situation.

Restricted Choice: Offices are closed due to either governmental or corporate lockdown.

  • Essential functions in office
  • High levels of remote work

Employee Choice: Offices are open for use, but some level of medical risk remains.

  • In-office work at employee's discretion
  • Employer-provided food
  • Distanced seating plans & schedules
  • Rigorous cleaning procedures
  • Mixed-presence collaboration

Combined Choice: Offices are open and medical risks are mitigated through a vaccine or cure.

  • Employer choice for in-office work
  • Less need for on-premise work
  • Improved remote work model

We will partner with you to:

  1. Facilitate a task force: Assemble leaders from operations, facilities, IT, HR, and a C-level sponsor. A successful plan requires collaboration and alignment of a cross-functional team.

  2. Build a framework: Detail your workplace activation playbook based on insights of the following factors: regulations, medical status, team demographics, office type/location and commute logistics.

  3. Personalize the plan: Create and execute specific timeframes and phasing approaches for remote and on-premise work by functional group based on their team needs.
  4. Develop and reinforce new ways of working: Learn from how your workforce has applied new ways of working across all four workplace dimensions.

"As we partner with organizations across the country on next steps for returning to the office, we know there will be a series of phases that will transform if, when and how people experience work. The first phase, enabling mass remote work approaches, has already passed us by. Office workers around the globe are working from home and are managing an unprecedented work/life balance challenge. Processes and habits have been broken and reconstructed in real time, and new skills have been forged from struggle. Now that governments are easing shelter-in-place restrictions, companies are evaluating how to return their workforce to the office. We deeply understand the need and have developed a holistic approach to help workers return to the office and continue to recover and thrive.”

- Kai Andrews and Erik Steffensen

Contact us to learn more


Kai Andrews, Principal | (206) 985-9618 | bio 


Erik Steffensen, Principal | (312) 702-4984 | bio