As the summer of 2022 arrived, pandemic guidelines began to swindle in many parts of the world. After over a year of lockdowns, mask mandates, and social distancing measures, people were eager to return to their pre-pandemic lives. However, the relaxation of these guidelines has led to concerns about how to come back fully.
Many employers are grappling with how to adjust their policies and procedures as the pandemic ebbs and flows. Some businesses have abandoned pandemic-related safety protocols altogether, while others have opted for a hybrid approach, gradually phasing out specific measures while keeping others in place. 
For example, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidelines to say that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks in most situations. This has led some employers to relax their mask mandates, while others continue to require masks for everyone in the workplace, regardless of vaccination status. 
In addition, some companies are starting to bring employees back to the office after months of remote work. However, the return to the office has been anything but straightforward. Employers must balance the desire to bring workers back to the office with concerns about workplace safety and the ongoing risk of COVID-19 transmission. 
To prepare for the end of the COVID-19 emergency, HR departments have been advised to create policies and procedures that prioritize safety while still allowing for a return to normalcy. This may involve implementing flexible work arrangements, improving ventilation systems, and providing access to vaccines or other preventive measures. 
Ultimately, the key to successfully navigating the end of the COVID-19 emergency is to remain vigilant and adaptable. Employers must be prepared to adjust their policies and procedures as circumstances change, while always prioritizing the health and safety of their employees and the broader community.