While the world seems to be healing, it is important to remember that the Covid pandemic is still here. According to the Society of Human Resource Management, only about 25% of organizations have returned to the office, and more than 35% of organizations are relying on Covid vaccines for employability.
For many individuals who are working from home, the idea of returning to the have is creating some questions. Here we bring you some common questions answered by Stephanie Ruhle from NBC News.
Can Companies Require Employees to Get Vaccinated?
Yes, they can. The federal government said, back in December, that companies could require employees to get the vaccine. In case the employee feels uncomfortable or is unwilling to get vaccinated, the company could ask the employee not to return to the office just yet.
Nevertheless, “it’s not completely black and white,” Ruhle explained. “If there are religious reasons or health reasons why you can’t, you want to work with your employer and hopefully find other accommodations.”
Can Companies Terminate You If You Don’t Get the Vaccine?
If it is not possible to find a solution that accommodates both parties, it could happen. According to Amber Clayton, director of the SHRM Knowledge Center, “employers can require that the individual not come to the workplace,” however, she added, “it’s not automatic that they could terminate the individual, because of other federal or local laws that may apply.” Companies should be aware of not breaking laws that prevent discrimination based on a disability, health conditions, or religious beliefs. As an employee, you must ask your company about the back-to-the-office process and check the laws in your states.
Will My Office Downsize or Keep Us Working From Home?
Scaling back on in-person work is becoming more popular. Big companies, such as Google, are implementing a collaborative work week. A collaborative work week means working a few days from home and other days in the office. Some other companies are maintaining an indefinite remote work status. “We will likely see in the future companies start to shrink their office space, but I wouldn’t expect it soon,” Ruhle said. “Nobody wants to share desks right now.” We should also consider that when we go back to the office, we will still most likely be wearing masks and socially distancing when we’re around other people.
When Will Restaurants Be Crowded Again?
This question is not related to work, but it seems to be very present in American’s minds. While eating out might be returning to normal, it depends on where you live. There are many things to take into consideration, like the infection rates and if people are getting vaccinated. However, some health experts agree that having a packed restaurant will not happen until late fall or winter.
Hopefully, these answers will help you understand what to expect when going back to the office.