Health

Epic begins the return to work in person, others consider hybrid method

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Employees of Epic Systems Corp. they will soon be required to work personally at the company’s headquarters – at least part-time.

Starting July 19, Epic employees will return to work on the company’s 1,000-acre campus in Verona, Wis. For at least three days a week. The developer of electronic health record systems has considered public health policy, employee input and competitors ’practice in his plans to return to office.

In August, workers will be physically laid off at least four days a week, and in September, workers will be required to be on campus for nine days during each two-week period.

Kristen Dresen, a member of Epic’s management team, said the plan to return to work will be re-evaluated in November using staff feedback to see if a full return to work in person is possible.

“We’ve really learned and confirmed that we do our best work when we’re together,” Dresen said. “So our plans with everyone coming back to campus are based on that.”

She said the number of Epic employees in Verona, who work voluntarily in the office, has increased slightly since the winter months to about 4,000 workers on average. More than 94% of the company’s 10,000 workers are completely vaccinated or have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“Companies are slowly testing the water on different models,” said Rick Kes, a healthcare professional at consulting firm RSM US LLP. “And I think a lot of them end up in some sort of hybrid method for the foreseeable future.”

A 2020 Special Return to Work Report from RSM found that 51% of companies plan to continue to offer remote work as an option, and 35% plan to turn or limit the days that individual employees can they are physically present.

Epic’s initial attempt to return to work in person in August 2020 was welcomed by returnees from employees, unions and Public Health Madison and Dane County.

In formulating the final plan, Dresen said Epic has consulted individuals from various positions in the company to provide input.

She said the society remains aligned with local public health and the guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will require those who are not vaccinated to wear a mask to maintain a physical distance. . For those who do not want to return to work for medical reasons or other reasons, Dresen said Epic will talk to each individual to understand the accommodation or understand their circumstances.

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Epic plans to hold its annual User Group Meeting, an event that typically brings in about 8,000 visitors, in person by the end of August. Participants in person must certify that they are completely vaccinated.

“We’re very excited,” Dresen said. “It’s been a tremendous year for our customers and leaders in health, and it will be a good opportunity for them to get back together and share their learnings and network with each other.”

A January 2021 survey by the National Association for Business Economics found that 11% of companies expect all of their staff members to return eventually.

According to a May 2021 return to work report from Kastle Systems, an office security company, more than a quarter of employees in the country’s cities currently work in offices.

A Cerner spokesman said the health information technology company is still in the process of assessing whether to implement a long-term hybrid workforce strategy and is currently beginning the process of returning to office in a slow, gradual approach, for the rest of the year.

The focus will be on providing flexibility for employees based on particular business needs, and there will be more than 20% capacity in some buildings.

“Our partners have been very productive working remotely, and we have continued to successfully respond to the needs of our clients and address the needs of the remote business,” the spokesperson said.

Lisa Hammond, senior vice president of global human resources at Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, said in an email statement that while the company’s offices are open, employees are recommended to work from home until August.

The company’s executive management and COVID-19 workforce are currently working on a plan to return to office by the end of this year based on the state of the pandemic, the needs of companies and association preferences.

“Our approach to working from home throughout the pandemic has not negatively affected our day-to-day operations – in fact, many teams have seen increased productivity during this time,” Hammond said. “That said, we feel there is great value in providing a space where associates can connect even in person.”


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