Return to Office Plans Are Set in Motion, but Virus Uncertainty Remains

Return to Office Plans Are Set in Motion, but Virus Uncertainty Remains

Many employers are not making a decision until many workers are vaccinated. And some are making plans for “hybrid” work arrangements.

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With coronavirus vaccination rates rising, most companies plan to return to some semblance of normal, and that means eventually welcoming employees back to the office. But how will they decide when to reopen, how many employees to bring in and how much office time is appropriate? What is the post-pandemic new normal? And what if employees prefer remote work? New York Times business writers Julie Creswell, Peter Eavis and Gillian Friedman examine how a variety of companies are navigating a return to the office and which ones will opt for the emerging hybrid option.


Are workers going back to the office? 

Companies across the United States are wrestling with the post-pandemic question of when and how to bring employees back to their desks. For example, Boston’s Rapid7 may bring employees back only after they receive vaccinations. Duke Energy hasn’t made vaccinations mandatory, but it strongly encourages them through its Health Reward Points system. Some companies, like Fifth Third Bank, made premature plans to bring workers back, only to reverse its decision. Other companies are waiting to welcome workers back after their children return to school.

Judging from data from 3,600 office buildings, security firm Kastle Systems suggests that about 25% of America’s workers are already...

About the Authors

Julie Creswell, Peter Eavis and Gillian Friedman cover business for The New York Times.

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