How the COVID pandemic is having a lasting impact on the workplace

Most companies have hybrid work model

COVID's latest impact on the workplace
COVID's latest impact on the workplace

DETROIT – The coronavirus pandemic forced many people to take a different look at how they live their lives and how they work.

Some employees never left the office, but others haven’t been back in more than a year. As more people get vaccinated against COVID, offices are opening back up. Those who are returning to the office shouldn’t expect it to look exactly the way it used to.

Rocket Mortgage Senior Mortgage Manager Amy Noureddine just returned to a completely renovated downtown office. Most employees will only be in the office two or three days a week.

“It’s coming back to life again, you know? It’s refreshing. It’s nice to get dressed up and get out of the house,” Noureddine said.

General Motors will be using a program they’re calling “work appropriately” for their headquarters. Employees will work in the office and at home. Robots roam the hallways to provide directions and support to new employees and those who get turned around easily.

Human Resources director Laura Jones said a third of GM’s employees will go hybrid this fall. Management said there aren’t enough desks or cubicles for everyone to return to the office at once.

At DTE Energy, they’re bringing back employees in October. The date was pushed back due to the spread of the delta variant. Tony Tomczak said through the pandemic they discovered they don’t need as much real estate anymore.

Read: ‘We’re exhausted’: Healthcare workers prepare for potential surge as COVID delta variant spreads

“We’re moving our group from the Ann Arbor to the downtown complex. We know we can consolidate that so we’re selling that building in Ann Arbor. We have a building across the street from our HQ called Ashley Views, the old Guardian Building. We’re selling that. We don’t need that piece of real estate,” Tomczak said.

In Livonia, they’re making money off the hybrid work trend. Workforce Software CEO Mike Morini sells businesses phone apps to help remote workers manage schedules py and human resources issues.

“If we can get anything positive out of COVID, it’s bringing the humanity back right and listening to our employees. Doesn’t mean we don’t hold them accountable to deliver. We need to do that and to do that though, you’ve got to give them the latest tools,” Morini said.

Many employees want the option to work from home or the office.

Read: What did your office look like when you returned to work for the first time?


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.