As state mask mandates gradually begin to lift and vaccinations become more widely available, many return-to-office plans are set in motion despite virus uncertainty.
One of the most important variables in determining a return to the office is vaccination status. Returning to the office with unvaccinated employees renders business’ work-from-home efforts pointless, yet requiring vaccinations threatens employee retention and chances at a cohesive culture.
One deciding factor could revolve around school re-openings. Employees that are parents are more likely to comply with returning to the office if they know their children are at school rather than e-learning which likely requires adult supervision. Duke Energy, for example, will bring the rest of their employees back in September once children likely go back to school.
Many companies are also eager to return to the office because they are currently paying rent for empty office space. While many businesses proved they could work remotely, their executives believe that most employees still benefit from working in-person with their coworkers. Working side by side often increases collaboration, enhances culture, and aids in the development of entry-level employees.
A return to the office could also help to stimulate the economy by bringing life back into seemingly abandoned city life. Restaurants, retail, and transit systems alike could generate much-needed revenue from returning commuters.
Whether a company will return to the office is also highly dependent on the type of work they do as well as the core values that have laid the groundwork for their operations. No matter the reasoning, one thing is certain: companies will need a plan of action as the pandemic begins to loosen its grip.