As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, each workplace faced its own unique situation. Some essential workplaces remained open, some organizations and services went completely remote, some closed operations temporarily (or permanently), and many navigated a combination of these experiences.
While the experiences have been different, most organizations are united by common challenges: to keep employees safe, supported, engaged, and productive; and by a common goal: to share what we are learning—especially as more and more remote employees return to the workplace.
At the Return to the Workplace Conference, you will be able to benchmark your plans through
- Exclusive research from The Conference Board
- Insights from industry leaders across diverse sectors
- Collaborating and sharing experiences virtually with peers
The Benefits to You
By attending this conference, you will
- Learn best practices for creating a successful re-opening plan.
- Discover how to prepare the workspace for the “new normal.”
- Explore innovations for measuring health, density, and proximity in real time.
- Examine ways to provide well-being and childcare support.
- Better understand how to harness the agility and resilience of 2020 for challenges ahead.
Topics We Will Cover
- Best practices for timing return to the workplace; planning stages of return and the triggers for those stages; adapting to regional differences and COVID spikes.
- Shifting the amount of time, and the time of day, employees spend in the workplace.
- Redesigning the workspace for safety and engagement.
- Rethinking what matters most in the “new normal” office space.
- Insights from “white collar” and “blue collar” workplace adaptions.
- Innovations for measuring health, density, and proximity in real time.
- Best practices and innovations in contact tracing.
- Measuring productivity in different environments.
- Listening to employees and other key stakeholders on return-to-workplace plans.
- The biggest challenges when safety guidelines meet human psychology.
- Engaging a hybrid workforce without undue favoring of physical presence.
- Providing well-being and childcare support.
- Engaging across functions, locations, and stakeholders in developing RTW plans.
- Planning for rapid re-adjustments as circumstances change.
- Learning from and retaining productivity increases.
- Building/retaining new flexibility to support individuals and families.
- Harnessing the agility and resilience of 2020 for the challenges ahead.
Who Should Attend
This conference is designed exclusively for senior executives charged with delivering innovation within their discipline, business unit, or across multiple disciplines. Expected titles include Chief Officers, Vice Presidents, Directors, Managers, and Leaders of:
- Human Resources
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Experience
- Talent Management
- Total Rewards
- Strategic Workforce Planning
- Health and Wellness
- Risk Management
- Business Continuity
Two Things to Do Now
This event is FREE for The Conference Board members, and $495 for non-members. Register now to join us live or to watch later on-demand.
2. Get Involved
If you would like to get more involved in this conference, please contact us.
Director, HR Communications
Director, Organizational Development
Quicken Loans, Inc
Head of Capabilities for Future of Work
Prudential Financial Inc.
Principal Researcher, Human Capital
The Conference Board
Director, Talent Strategy
Mary Lee Hannell
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Executive Director, Learning & Workforce Experience
Director of Global Talent and Corporate HR Staffs
General Motors Company
Vice President, Labor Markets
The Conference Board
Executive Director, Enterprise Resiliency
Educational Testing Service
Melinda Moye, Ph.D.
Manager, Employee Engagement Analytics & Innovation
Deere & Company
Director, Change Management & Transformation
Campbell Soup Co.
General Manager of Governance, Risk, Continuity, Compliance and Security Risk
Head of Global Business Resiliency
DAY ONE | Thursday, December 10, 2020
Part One: Planning Returns – Risks, Stages, and Stakeholders
11:00 – 11:15 am
Welcome and Introduction
11:15 am – 12:00 pm
Looking for Emerging Risks, Listening across Functions and Stakeholders
Whether a workforce remained primarily onsite or primarily remote; whether return-to-workplace plans are already in progress or continue to evolve, a planning framework that accounts for emerging risks and listens to diverse functions and stakeholders is crucial.
In this panel conversation, leaders across sectors and functions share experiences and insights on issues including:
- Understanding and planning for emerging risks during and post-COVID
- Involving key roles and functions in creating return-to-workplace plans
- Hearing from employees
- Choosing triggers and stages, and handling differences between regions
Lisa Reshaur, General Manager of Governance, Risk, Continuity, Compliance and Security Risk, Microsoft
Tim Mathews, Executive Director of Enterprise Resiliency, Educational Testing Services
Michele Turner, Head of Global Business Resiliency, Amazon
12:00 – 12:30 pm
Communications: The Essential Partner
Amidst multiple crises creating near-unprecedented uncertainty and global scrutiny of responses, Communications has been the essential partner in every step of response and return-to-the-workplace plans. In this panel conversation, Communications leaders discuss the elements of effective partnerships across functions, and share experiences and insights from the challenges met so far and the ones on the horizon for 2021.
Meaghan Baumwald, Director, HR Communications, Lowe’s
12:30 – 12:45 pm Break
12:45 - 1:15 pm
Exclusive Research on Return-to-Workplace Plans
Over the course of the pandemic, The Conference Board has conducted multiple surveys and research on organizations’ responses to the challenges of 2020, and their plans on returning to the workplace. Conference Board Principal Researcher Robin Erickson shares with us the latest data, trends and insights on planning processes across sectors.
Robin Erickson, Ph.D., Principal Researcher, The Conference Board
1:15 – 1:20 pm
Introduction to Networking Discussions
1:30 – 2:00 pm
Networking Discussions: Experiences on Emerging Risks and Return-to-Workplace Plan Development
Speakers will lead attendees through a consideration of the challenges and learnings they have experienced in identifying emerging risks and developing return-to-the-workplace plans. Attendees will then break up into small groups where they will meet each other and share insights “face to face” via Zoom. Following the small group breakouts, the group will reconvene to share observations.
2:00 - 2:15 pm Break
Part Two: Data, AI, and Innovating for Safety
2:15 – 3:00 pm
How Supercomputing is Driving Human-Centered COVID Decisionmaking
Learn how supercomputing and AI models and applications are helping organizations and employees:
- Decide when to return to the workplace
- Manage facilities and adhere to new protocols
- Answer customer and employee questions on COVID-19
- Connect employer data to entry privileges
- Trace potential exposures and help access employee services
- Stagger entry/exit times to manage density
- Protect healthcare data and securely manage employee opt-in and consent
3:00 – 3:45 pm
Innovating for Safety, for Those on the Front Lines and Those Returning
Learn how leaders across a variety of sectors and locations have used data analysis, smart technology, and human-centered design thinking to innovate for safety, both for those returning to the workplace, and for crucial employees who never left it.
3:45 – 4:00 pm Break
4:00 - 4:30 pm
Networking Discussions: Data, Design, and Safety Innovation
Speakers will lead attendees through a consideration of their experiences using data, smart technology, new digital and physical design, and more to reduce risk. Attendees will then break up into small groups where they will meet each other and share insights “face to face” via Zoom. Following the small group breakouts, the group will reconvene to share observations.
Day One Recap and Conclusion
DAY TWO | Friday, December 11, 2020
Part Three: The Reimagined Workplace and the New Employee Experience
11:00 – 11:15 am
Welcome and Introduction
11:15 am – 11:45 am
What Radical Transparency and Powerful Culture Can Bring: A Thriving Workforce More Engaged than Ever, During COVID
In this keynote session, discover how a global industry leader used a crisis as an opportunity, and – by listening to employees and building on a culture of transparency and flexibility – began a revolution in how work takes place. The result: record-breaking levels of engagement that has seen increases month after month during a pandemic.
Charlie Bunton, Director, Organizational Development, Quicken Loans
11:45 am – 12:30 pm
The Supported Workforce
Learn how organizations have been and will be supporting employees through the new challenges – or the exacerbations of ever-present challenges – that emerged in 2020. How have parents with children learning remotely been supported? How have those working from home been supported in retaining balance? How have all employees, on-site and remote, been supported in protecting wellbeing and handling stress? What have organizations learned and what supports do they expect to retain post-COVID?
Amara Nash, Director, Change Management and Transformation, Campbell Soup Company
Melinda Moye, Ph.D., Manager, Employee Engagement Analytics & Innovation, John Deere
Mary Lee Hannell, Chief Human Resources Officer, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
12:30 am – 12:45 pm Break
12:45 – 1:15 pm
The Reimagined Workspace
Explore how organizations are using the circumstances dictated by 2020, such as social distancing, connecting digitally, and time/place flexibility, to reimagine and improve the physical workplace environment for those returning. How can we make better use of our workspaces both for individual focus and for collaboration? Can a change dictated by safety also enhance the workplace experience?
1:15 - 1:45 pm
Exclusive Research: Remote Work Trends and What to Expect in 2021
What trends are we seeing in organizations’ willingness to hire for 100% remote positions? What do current patterns portend for our transition back to the workplace and the post-COVID environment? Gad Levanon, Ph.D., Vice President, Labor Markets for The Conference Board will share the latest Conference Board research on hiring trends for remote work, and explain what they portend for 2021 and beyond.
Gad Levanon, Ph.D., Vice President, Labor Markets, The Conference Board
1:45 - 2:30 pm
Engaging the Hybrid Workforce
Almost all organizations envision working with a hybrid workforce – some on-site and some remote – as COVID continues to challenge us. Many also envision continuing to work with a hybrid workforce even after the pandemic is behind us, as we embrace the flexibility first adopted by necessity. What are the unique challenges, and opportunities, presented by a hybrid workforce? How can team members remain engaged and their contribution valued wherever they are? How can we measure productivity consistently without reverting to using presence as a measure of performance? Leaders across sectors share experiences, insights and plans.
Laura Jones, Director of Global Talent and Corporate HR Staffs, GM
Brad Hubbard, Executive Director, Learning & Workforce Experience, Bristol-Myers Squibb
2:30 - 2:45 Break
2:45 - 3:15 pm
2:45– 3:15 pm
Networking Discussions: The New Employee Experience
Speakers will lead attendees through a consideration of how to support, engage, develop, and enhance the productivity, of a hybrid workforce. Attendees will then break up into small groups where they will meet each other and share insights “face to face” via Zoom. Following the small group breakouts, the group will reconvene to share observations.
Part Four: Emerging Stronger
3:15 – 4:00 pm
Embracing Agility, Resilience, and the New Future of Work
2020 has been a time of unprecedented change, a time of trauma and loss. But it has also been a time in which organizations around the globe were able to pivot successfully, at lightning speed, to entirely new ways of working. How are organizations using the learnings of 2020 to reimagine the future of work going forward? How are they planning to reinforce the agility and resilience evidenced this year? In what ways do we expect to emerge stronger from these deeply challenging times?
Wagner Denuzzo, Head of Capabilities for Future of Work, Prudential
Heidi Gerhard, Director, Talent Strategy, BASF
4:00 – 4:30 pm
Recap and Concluding Conversations
We recap the insights shared over the past two days, and conclude with a final brief networking conversation, in which attendees share their biggest takeaways from the conference, and how they expect their organizations to emerge stronger in 2021 and beyond.