07/30/2021 | by
Headshot compilation

Brian Guttman
Vice President, Human Resources

Our biggest challenge has been creating a plan flexible enough to adapt to a changing environment. Based on their own comfort level, our employees can continue to work remotely or volunteer to work in the office over the summer, with full re-entry Sept. 1.  

Each employee has signed a social contract ensuring they would take ownership of creating a safe environment for the entire team – this included following safety protocols, completing re-entry training, and providing consistent feedback to the COVID Re-Entry Taskforce.

By gradually bringing people back to the office on a voluntary basis, we hope to lower risk, help people adapt to the new safety protocols, and more easily make mid-course adjustments. Our Re-Entry Taskforce has constantly re-evaluated our policies to adhere to evolving guidance while also keeping a pulse on employee sentiment and morale through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one sessions.”

Stacey Lamendola
Executive Director, Head of Human Resources
W.P. Carey Inc.

While there were many challenges that arose from the pandemic, perhaps the biggest we faced was creating a return-to-the-office plan that supported the evolving needs of our employees as well as the long-term needs of our business. 

We heard from employees that flexibility was important, but also knew that maintaining an interactive and importantly, inclusive, culture was just as critical to our long-term success.  We were challenged to design a plan that retained the benefits of collaboration without hindering the flexibility that employees valued. 

In response, we created a return-to-work strategy that offers a gradual progression from voluntary office visits to a combination of in-person and remote work.  We hope this approach will help to maintain a strong corporate culture, support the wellbeing of our employees, and ensure that they continue to feel heard, safe, and valued.”

Sudarshana Rangachary
SVP Human Resources & Chief Human Resources Officer
Essex Property Trust, Inc.

While we have been working diligently over the last year to ensure our employees know and understand how important their physical safety is to us, we are now tasked with protecting their emotional health and wellbeing as we return to the office. 

The transition back to an in-person setting has understandably raised some feelings of uncertainty. In turn, we are being thoughtful in our approach by communicating with transparency, leading by example through vaccine testimonials from our senior leadership team, and listening to feedback as it relates to exploring a future hybrid work model.”



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