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Is It Time To Go Back To The Office? Some Companies Think So




Workers at one of the 19 national pandemic flu service call centres in the country, answer calls from people concerned about swine flu, July 23, 2009 in London, England.
Workers at one of the 19 national pandemic flu service call centres in the country, answer calls from people concerned about swine flu, July 23, 2009 in London, England.
WPA Pool/Getty Images

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At the start of the pandemic, many of us thought we’d only be working from home for about two weeks, a month tops. Now eight months later, it seems like we might never go back to the office. But some companies are trying to change that.

According to the LA Times, more and more people in Southern California are returning to the office, even as many parts of the region are still under COVID restrictions. But as businesses start to reopen and the rate of positive cases start to decrease, many companies think it’s now the perfect time for employees to return to the office under the right safety measures.

Companies are going to great lengths to create a safe working environment for their employees, creating a rotation system, closing off shared work spaces, even deploying algorithms that would help determine who’d need to return to the office first. Many of these companies are arguing that working from home the past year has hurt productivity and they want to bring back a sense of work culture.

There are probably many people excited about the idea of going back to the office and would be happy to return, but there are worries that those who aren’t as eager to go back will feel pressured to. The emotional stress this is placing on employees has some questioning whether it really is the right time to make the big return.

Today on AirTalk, we take a closer look at why companies are starting to go back to the office, how they’re doing it, and the concerns many people have about returning. Have you started working in the office again? What has the experience been like and what is your company doing to keep you safe? Are you still working from home? Would you want to go back to the office? Is the office a more productive working environment than being at home? Let us know by calling 866-893-5722.

Guests:

Chip Cutter, reporter covering workplace issues for the Wall Street Journal; he tweets at @ChipCutter

Bob Nowak, executive vice president at JLL, a commercial real estate services company; he oversees more than 57 million square feet of commercial office and industrial properties in Southern California, Phoenix, and Las Vegas

Dean Blumberg, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital