ILMA Compoundings - October 2020 - 34

The good news is that it has never been easier to stay
connected with a remote workforce. Email, texts, phone
calls and online meeting solutions - such as Apple's FaceTime, Microsoft Teams, Cisco WebEx and Zoom - make
it possible to host productive and personal meetings with
your team as a whole and with people individually. "We've
seen a huge augmentation in the use of decent tools over the
internet," Christensen said.

THE NEW CHALLENGES

Along with general encouragement and increased communications, managers are also exploring solutions for a range
of new challenges that are arising as the workplace adapts to
COVID-19.
Witt noted that many of his clients are seeing family
needs impact their workforce. With many children not
returning to in-person school classes, employees might find
it more challenging to continue working remotely in the
long term because of the claims on their time and attention.
In addition, he said, not every employer has a "culture and
philosophy to accommodate those needs. It's still a fluid
situation, and it seems many employers haven't made official
policy changes." For example, he noted, "A recent survey
with 446 clients showed 62% of respondents have not
changed their time-off policy due to the pandemic."
His company has noticed other challenges as well. "In
some cases, the unemployment stimulus [payment] has
made it difficult for employers to get their lower-wage
workers back on the job," he said. "With the purpose of
getting cash to many furloughed or laid off in short order,
it provided some with more than they were earning before.
Many of our clients in the temporary staffing industry,
which in total provides jobs for 16 million employees
per year, continue to tell us they have a large number
of job orders coming from employers, but they can't get
people to come back to work. Another similar stimulus
could keep these workers at home and unemployment
numbers inflated."
For those who continue to work on-site, Witt said, "The
physical presence required to continue production brings
questions and uncertainty with employees and potential
employer liabilities."
He pointed out that some states, such as California, have
introduced legislation that has put the onus on employers
regarding their presumptive liability for employees who
become ill with COVID-19 and file for workers' compensation benefits. "Luckily, there are other states working
the other way, providing civil immunity for employers. Of
course," he added, "there are other operational risks that
have been magnified with supply chain disruptions and
heightened customer credit risk."

34

OCTOBER 2020

| COMPOUNDINGS | ILMA.ORG


http://www.ILMA.ORG

ILMA Compoundings - October 2020

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