I can tell you first hand now is the time to play out as many different scenarios for your transitioning your people as possible.
As a starting point, leaders must consider not only their needs, but potential needs of their people.
For example, here are three potential conversations leaders will need to be prepared for –
1 – The employee is eager to return to the workplace.
2 – The employee is eager to keep doing remote work.
3 – The employee is eager to develop a hybrid remote work, workplace arrangement.
How you prepare for each of these conversations may seem needs planning and preparation –
1st person – Bring them back right away. Be prepared with a re-onboarding program to establish expectations and have a smooth transition planned.
2nd person – Let them continue remote work, if it makes sense to do so. Revisit remote work policies and procedures and create a long-term plan. Set a clear start date.
3rd person – Set a schedule when to work from home and when to be in the office. Review the expectations and best practices for working in a changing environment. Prepare to find tune your change management skills.
Your leadership skills will be tested.
So take time to prepare now to help you succeed later.