- Posted by Chris Elvidge
- On April 24, 2020
As we all continue to do our best to adjust to the new normal of working from home, we have been presented with unforeseen and time consuming challenges and distractions such as providing instruction and supervision to school-age children, WiFi and internet ‘drag’ and interruption from multiple device use, and the typical daily home responsibilities–just to name a few. But with now more than 5+ weeks of social distancing under our belt, now more than ever, we are showing determination to get things done.
But the companies we work for, the very entities themselves need more than human determination to survive and be viable and emerge solvent after this pandemic. And from a health and welfare benefits perspective we have seen many organizations and carriers stepping up to help bridge companies large and small in order to get through these economically stifling times. Major health care carriers are allowing premium deferral plans to spread out premiums to make it more affordable. Many ancillary and voluntary carriers have extended flat, no increase renewals over the next couple of months to help with the bottom line, and many are also allowing changes outside their contracts to allow employers to make plan downgrades and make it more affordable for employers and employees both. Our health and welfare industry has shown great compassion and generosity in these times by helping companies in their community survive and be able continue to make benefit payments and in turn helping to keep our neighbors employed.
As we move from pandemic emergency and managing employee crisis to the anticipation that we will begin to open the economy, there will be a whole new array of challenges. Our government and corporate leaders will begin to outline our plan of how we will restart our economy and workforce return. It will certainly not be the same as we were accustomed to, but a staggered phase in reentry. As employer leaders, we will need to be ready with a resiliency plan. We need to be prepared to manage remote effectiveness of our employee base and for some version of realigned operations. And fiscally, companies will need to operate with a ‘recession’ profitability mindset.
I am sure everyone has heard over and over the reflection that we never could have imagined our changed lives during this pandemic and how it has affected our world a year ago or even six months ago for that matter. But we must adapt and focus on solutions that address the biggest challenges we currently face and will in the coming months. As an employer, your leadership and direction will be sought by your employees.