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In order for workers to be in the offices, they had to wear masks and vaccines.

More than 5% of its agents resigned in protest.

The operations director said that it was kind of eye-opening. We got a lot of opposition. We had to keep our employees safe.

Two years from now. The hybrid workplace, a blend of remote and in-office employees, has been set up by officials at Bridge REALTY, No. 1 on the Star Tribune’s TopWorkplaces list of large companies.

Bridge stopped requiring vaccine mandates in March as the omicron variant waned. It allows employees to work on a hybrid schedule. Bridge spends up to $500 a month on lunches to get agents to come together in person to network.

The ever-changing era of COVID-19 has resulted in both challenges and rewards for employers trying to balance new expectations with their own goals. Employers can’t afford to get the next steps wrong with the Minnesota workforce being as tight as ever, with two job openings for every jobseeker.

The Society for Human Resources Management and the Harvard Business Review recently created a list of best practices to help employers reduce friction and create an environment where workers feel engaged, productive and valued, whether they toil from home or the office.

Manager’s best practices include trusting their employees to do their jobs, making each project’s mission clear, and taking the time to talk to direct reports about their growth, training and career goals, even if they work off-site.

The transition time can be used to clearly communicate. They need to identify and remedy any issues with flexibility, cultural gaps, and overlooked workers within their organization. It is important to show appreciation for the people who show up.

In Minnesota, companies admit to varying success and say they have learned along the way.

Under normal circumstances, we are very hands on. Happy hours, meetings, and in-person events can be found here. The Golden Valley-based Solution Design Group (SDG), which placed fifth on the list of midsize firms, has had to make a pivot during this time.

Most of the company’s software and operations employees started working off-site at the beginning of the Pandemic. The company is considering cutting back on space.

The need for direct work with patients sets many parameters for hybrid work for HealthPartners, which is 49th on the list.

Most of the health provider’s administrative staff work from home. Many of the Bloomington-based firm’s employees work directly with patients, which was before the Pandemic. That is still accurate.

HealthPartners’ patients were given some options. DeLinda Washington, human resources chief, said that officials were surprised when thousands of patients chose online behavioral health services.

She said that going virtual has resulted in an increase in the number of appointments kept.

She said that the change worked so well that they went through a process to really evaluate more work that could be done remotely. “Maybe this could work for a long time.”

Ryan Companies is a large employer with two sets of workers, one in the field and one in the office hybrid. Ryan created five new employee assistance groups to increase support and conversation among employees.

Virtual tours of Ryan’s latest construction projects and free mental health counseling were offered by the company. Tony Barranco, the north region president, said that it started hosting safe distanced outdoor events to bring field and office staffers together.

Employees from construction workers to accountants and leasing agents all went to Lake Nokomis during “Ryan Gives Back Week”. The turning point was manned by a worker dressed up as Elvis.

Barranco said the event connected all of Ryan’s teams.

We are still learning as we go here with hybrid. He said that it’s been a transition. When you are going through challenges, your values as a company become even more critical and you need the compass that you need.

According to a recent report,friction is rising at some companies between remote employees and those who are required to work offsite who are jealous of their colleagues’ flexibility.

The group suggests that companies struggling with that rift consider interviewing or surveying employees. Even if just for a few hours or days each week, the exercise might identify ways to give workers more flexibility.

It’s another challenge of hybrid. From which days a team should come to the office to how to run a meeting when some participants are virtual, others are how to make the work run more smoothly.

17 on the list of large businesses. Don’t drink while the microphone is turned on, and don’t let people dominate the conversation in a hybrid meeting.

Jenny Guldseth, chief human resources officer, said going hybrid meant emphasizing that “starting and stopping your meetings on time was important” to give in person attendees time to walk to their next meetings.

Managers started using Door Dash deliveries to include remote workers in lunches. She said that they were trying to be aware of the experience of the employees.

One third of the workers come to the offices daily at the company’s Golden Valley campus. Most of them come in two or three days a week.

This hybrid work environment is what we are living. “Flexibility is the key to everything.” said Guldseth.

Many employees got a puppy, so the company hired a vendor to explore offering doggy day care on the campus.

The company will soon spend thousands of dollars to transform one of its 16 floors into spaces for hybrid work with more conference rooms, “hoteling” desks for occasional in-person workers and a set of permanent workspace for those who show up often.

“We’ll have those in place by the fall and will have our employees come check it out and give us feedback as we figure out how to move forward with hybrid.”

Happy hours will be held every week so employees can socialize and fight the isolation of working from home. The events could bring more remote workers into the office.