COVID-19

Office workers could remain remote until October

State leaders are debating when to allow employees to return to the office.

State leaders are considering when to allow office workers to return to the office. At the moment, reports are indicating they may extend work-from-home requirements until October. But a group of state, health, and business leaders are meeting to hash out how to possibly phase that in earlier.

What Happened: State emergency rules in effect since last October require people who work in offices to instead work remotely, if it’s “feasible” to do so. Those rules expire in mid-April, but state health officials are considering extending the rules another six months.

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“We would anticipate extending them possibly for six months,” said Sean Egan, the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director for MIOSHA. “That doesn’t mean [restrictions] have to stay that way.”

Egan told reporters during a Monday news conference that vaccination rates could play a part in any potential loosening of the rules.

“I’m trying to picture how we manage workplaces that have only 40%, 50%, 60% vaccination rates or lower … because we know that vaccination is our ticket out of the pandemic,” he said.

Some business leaders worry the restrictions could hamper their ability to rebound from the economic downturn. They say the decision on whether to allow employees to work remotely should be left up to the individual businesses.

What’s Next: A “Return-to-Office Workgroup” has been formed to offer recommendations to the state. It’s made up of government, health, union, and business leaders. The goal is to meet weekly and issue a report in six weeks.

You can read more on MLive.

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