The City of Hamilton has unveiled a return to the workplace strategy, similar to those being implemented throughout the private sector.
Some municipal employees will continue working from home over the long term, others will return to the office and a third group with move forward under a hybrid model.
A staff report presented to the general issues committee on Wednesday says the differences are largely based on levels of face-to-face interaction with the public.
Emergency operations director Jason Thorne says timelines have not been established.
“I’ll be a gradual approach; it’ll be a phased approach,” says Thorne. “We still just do need to monitor the still uncertain COVID situation that we are facing.”
“We’ll be looking for advice from the medical officer of health, in terms of timing,” adds Thorne. “What we don’t want to do is bring staff back too early and then have to send staff back home again, and all the disruption that would cause.”
Nenzi Cocca, director of HR systems and operations, says there’s been a 30 per cent reduction in absenteeism among employees working from home throughout the pandemic, as they are better able to manage “incidental illnesses.”
Cocca adds that is just one of many benefits that have been identified during COVID-19.
“We know that providing flexible work arrangements is an attraction and retention tool,” says Cocca. “It improves mental health, wellness, work-life balance. In the long run, working with our facilities staff, it could reduce the office footprint, over time.”
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.