In-house legal department leaders say the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered workplace dynamics—not just in obvious ways, such as the embrace of remote work, but also in more subtle ways, such as the need to pay greater attention to mental health and rethink what it takes to attract and retain top talent.

“There is a collective PTSD, and employers are going to have to work through that,” Ayesha Ahmed, general counsel of Nexus Pharmaceuticals, said. “People have been through a lot, and acknowledging that is the first step.”