COVID-19: Bracing for the New Normal

Welcome to Bracing for the New Normal, P&C’s webpage intended to serve as a resource for our clients and partners as they prepare for the next phase: the return-to-work new normal. Below you’ll find frequently updated original and curated content. As always, reach out to us at any time for direct and detailed perspectives regarding your challenges today, and in the future. We have partnered with the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP so that you can also access their insights on the many aspects of return-to-work policies and associated global business implications; in addition, your P&C engagement team can introduce you to the legal advisors at Holland & Knight to help you address specific questions and challenges.

Featured Articles

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WHAT WE’RE HEARING. WHAT WE KNOW. HOW TO PROCEED.

A look ahead with Nick Pournader, CEO P&C

I want to share with you what we are experiencing at P&C—neither to boast nor complain—but rather to give our perspective on the issues of physical health and the global economy. The days of wondering whether the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are short-term are over. So too are the days of figuring out temporary cost mitigation steps for our clients and the notion that social distancing is a temporary inconvenience. The furloughs and permanent headcount reductions have been determined (if not already implemented), the store closures identified, the airline capacity reductions and route cancellations announced, and salary reductions across many other organizations determined. Pretty grim—we agree. While absolutely jaw dropping, that work is complete and behind us. Read More.

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VIDEOS: THE TRUTH OF HOW CORONAVIRUS SPREADS
& HOW TO TRAVEL

Understanding the facts regarding the biological transmission and travel risks associated with COVID-19 is as serious a topic as it gets. In the interest of and concern for our clients and their employees, we believe these videos can help explain complex science in a straightforward, honest fashion from a credible source, and with a humorous twist that will capture your attention. While the many references to classic comedies may amuse, the explanations and advice are concise, understandable, and real. You can watch both videos by clicking the link below. Watch Videos.

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THE RISKS – KNOW THEM – AVOID THEM

For our clients whom are developing or revising their return-to-work strategies, understanding the epidemiological information in this article would be a key element in making informed, evidence-based decisions. An epidemic curve has a relatively predictable upslope and once the peak is reached, an equally predictable back slope. Based on data from the outbreaks in China and Italy, the backside of the mortality curve declines slowly, with deaths persisting for months. That’s what’s going to happen with a lockdown; however, the U.S. is not in lockdown mode. While there are good reasons for reopening the economy, this article makes evident the fact that if you don’t solve the biology, the economy won’t recover. Read More.

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NEW EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS IN THE AGE OF COVID-19: SAFETY POLICIES, PPE, AND DEEP CLEANING

COVID-19 has altered the reality of workplace safety and corresponding industry standards. Employers face dramatically different workplace challenges and resulting new obligations regarding safety precautions and worker protections. This article addresses practical considerations and obligations when establishing safety plans to reopen the workplace, including following federal, state and local laws, regulations and guidance covering employee use of PPE and deep cleaning the workspace. Read More.

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WORKPLACE OF THE FUTURE: INNOVATION & COMMUNICATION TO BE CRUCIAL FOR EMPLOYEES

P&C has been dealing with much of this head-on for the past three months: pivoting rapidly to remote work, expanding our Microsoft Teams implementation globally to all of our employees and partners, and rolling out Teams for all of our clients in the airlines and retail industries who are in the midst of implementing significant COVID-19 response plans. We’re also seeing – and guiding – many of our clients through these steps: the technologies, deployment of the chat bots, and Return to Work guidance. Read More.

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IP CONSIDERATIONS DURING COVID-19: IP HOUSEKEEPING

As businesses transition to a “new normal,” a thorough review of intellectual property (IP) assets and a protocol for managing those assets are imperative. A company that invests time now to inventory its existing IP assets, assess current measures for protecting them, and plan for their future management will be able to respond to IP-related opportunities and challenges more effectively. This article contains common sense practices you can start immediately. Read More.

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MAINTAINING A SAFE WORKPLACE: SCREENING EMPLOYEES AS THEY RETURN TO WORK DURING A PANDEMIC

As states and local governments phase out their stay-at-home orders enacted in response to COVID-19, businesses will be faced with new challenges regarding the safety of workers, including whether it is permissible to ask employees about symptoms and risk factors, as well as whether employees can be tested. Read More.

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THE RETURN OF THE CUBICLE? COMPANIES RETHINK OFFICE LIFE POST LOCKDOWN

Hand sanitizers and thermal scanners are just the start. Some firms are considering remodeling their offices to minimize the risk of a second wave of infections. Long rows of desks may be out, workstations sheathed with glass sneeze guards may be in. This video offers some constructive suggestions. Read More.

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COVID-19 RIF CHECKLIST: KEY ISSUES TO CONSIDER IN REDUCTIONS IN FORCE

Even successful organizations may be forced to reduce employee headcount to maintain economic viability. Short-term measures—furloughs and reduced hours—can preserve cash, capital, and employment relationships, but may be insufficient to ensure long-term survival of your business. Regardless, you must ensure security and confidentiality, as well as anticipate litigation and PR problems. Before implementing a Reduction in Force, consider these strategies. Read More.

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5 TIPS FOR EMPLOYERS TO SAFEGUARD AGAINST EMPLOYEE DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS ARISING FROM COVID-19

As employers continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and contemplate returning employees back to the workplace, these unprecedented circumstances present an exceptional risk for an increase in employment discrimination claims. This article contains specific insights and guidance that employers should consider to help minimize the risk of employment discrimination. Read More.

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INNOVATION IN TIMES OF CRISIS

The global pandemic and the economic crisis are opportunities to create, develop and promote solutions to overcome the health emergency and establish a new, emerging economy. The innovations being developed and the rights generated from them must be protected, safeguarded and respected. This article provides insights on how remote work, social distancing, online business, and other factors have led individuals and companies to apply IP and competition law in times of crisis. Read More.

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THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON ADVERTISING

The global pandemic has resulted in changes to advertising, marketing, promotional and media spends, forcing businesses and brands to reevaluate their thinking about current and future advertising and marketing campaigns to maintain a steady stream of income. While brands currently seek to strike the right tone during a global health emergency, this article explores the future of increased competition and a demand for creative and aggressive marketing practices. Read More.

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CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE STRATEGY

Holland & Knight has prepared this helpful document, drawing upon its various practice areas, regarding steps to prepare for, respond to, and emerge from a potential crisis situation—beginning with message discipline and preparation. Read more to learn how its marketing communications, healthcare policy, federal funding aviation, and government relations professionals weigh in to offer guidance and information. Read More.

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AN UNPRECEDENTED OPPORTUNITY TO HIRE GREAT TALENT

The pandemic is reshaping companies, industries, national economies, and our society in unthinkable ways. Business leaders need to plan, beyond survival, for new opportunities this crisis might present. Throughout history, economic hardships have created windows where exceptional talent is widely available for a limited time. You can seize the opportunity to hire great talent at a time when they might have trouble finding or keeping jobs elsewhere. Read More.

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HOW WILL WE KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO REOPEN THE NATION?

Don’t expect a large crowd at the 2021 New Year’s celebration on in Times Square. This article suggests some hard realities, while we wait for a vaccine or proven drugs: hospitals must be able to treat patients without resorting to crisis care; states must be able to test everyone who has symptoms; states must be able to monitor confirmed cases AND contacts; and there must be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days. Read More.

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HELPING LEADERS AVOID A CRISIS WITH EMPATHY, GRATITUDE AND GENEROSITY

The traits that help people come into power—empathy, sharing, fairness—often fade as those same people begin to feel power or privilege. To prevent a ‘power paradox’, we need to develop three essential practices: empathy, gratitude and generosity. The ‘Page Principles’ help protect organizations from empathy-challenged leadership by advising leaders to tell the truth, prove values through actions, and listen to stakeholders. Read More.

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WE’RE NOT GOING BACK TO NORMAL

Is a dystopian future our ‘new normal’? This author predicts that we’ll restore the ability to socialize safely by developing sophisticated ways to identify who is a disease risk and who is not—but also discriminating against those who are. While no one knows what this new future looks like, one can imagine a world where governments and businesses track your movements via phone and scan your temperature before entering a public building. Read More.

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THAT DISCOMFORT YOU’RE FEELING IS GRIEF

How are you feeling—honestly? Acknowledging this physically painful emotion, called grief, is paramount to coping with it. As leaders, I encourage you to deal with the vulnerability and grief that your organizations and family are experiencing—working at home, tending to children, worrying about older parents, staying healthy and apart from others, and then of course, the viability of your businesses in an uncertain future. Read More.

Contact Our Experts

JDuncan

Jana Duncan
Performance Practice
San Francisco

BGoodman

Brooke Goodman
Digital Transformation Practice
Dubai

KatherinHarmon

Katherin Harmon
Organization Practice
Beverly Hills

NPournader

Nick Pournader
CEO
Dallas

ErinPowers

Erin Powers
Strategy and Innovation Practice
London

SarahReynolds

Sarah Reynolds
Performance Practice
San Francisco

JThomas

Jennifer Thomas
Organization Practice
Paris