Page 22 - BusinessWest August 3, 2020
P. 22

  Modern Office
The Future of Work
COVID-19 May Bring Lasting Change to the Landscape
  When businesses sent employees home in mid- March, many thought it would be for just a few weeks. Instead, as the pandemic lingered, weeks stretched
into months, and now, even
as companies are allowed to bring their teams back on site, many have not. The reason? Employers say it makes little sense to risk their people’s health if they can do their job just as well at home. But ... if they can work effectively at home, why bring them back
at all? That’s a conversation many companies are having as they ponder the future of the workplace in the COVID-19 era.
By Joseph Bednar
ig Y Foods is one of the region’s largest companies, with
more than 11,000 employees throughout Massachusetts and Connecticut. It has also been an
essential business throughout the pandem- ic, so it never shut down.
Many of its employees — those who stock shelves, prepare food, work the cashier lines, and do any number of other tasks — must do their jobs on site, in a specific location. But at Big Y’s 300-employee-strong customer-support center in Springfield, which supports those frontline workers, that wasn’t necessarily the case.
“About 80% of them started working from home once COVID-19 started gaining trac-
 Michael Galat, vice president of Employee Services at Big Y.
 22 AUGUST 3, 2020 MODERN OFFICE BusinessWest

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