More Companies Planning to Reopen Offices, End Work From Home

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The threat of another COVID-19 surge in the United States hasn’t stopped some corporations from laying out plans for a post-pandemic world — one that includes heading back to the office after a year of working from home.

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Last week, Google said it will let employees return to some of its U.S. offices within the next month, Bloomberg reported.

Bloomberg itself might soon see its workers back in offices. According to a Business Insider article last month,  founder and CEO Mike Bloomberg sent a memo to staffers saying that he expects them to return to offices once they are vaccinated.

Meanwhile, a survey of more than 350 CEOs and human resources and finance leaders found that 70% said they plan to have employees back in the office by the fall, according to a CNBC article on Friday, which cited a report by the LaSalle Network staffing company.

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That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll see a surge of workers pouring back into offices. As CNBC noted, companies like JPMorgan Chase, Salesforce and PricewaterhouseCoopers are actually downsizing their office space. And a number of tech names — including Amazon, Microsoft, Twitter, Square, Spotify and Shopify — have extended their work-from-home policies. In some cases, those polices have been extended indefinitely.

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But Google is one tech giant that is eyeing a future beyond COVID-19. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google parent Alphabet, told employees in December that his company would test a hybrid model that allows teams to meet for “collaboration days” in the office. Under this plan, which won’t be available to everyone, employees must be in the office at least three days a week.

For now, there’s still a long way to go getting Americans vaccinated. CNN, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control, reported early Monday that only about 18.5% of Americans are fully vaccinated. And COVID-19 cases have recently increased in parts of the U.S. and the rest of the world, particularly Europe, amid the spread of the highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant.

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