Office Reopenings and Return-to-work Plans: How Things Have Been so Far

During the summer of 2021, just when it looked like the world had turned the corner on the pandemic, new variants led to another surge of hospitalization. A growing number of private companies are mandating that employees get vaccinated, and this is a very contentious topic in itself. A high percentage of new cases have emerged among the unvaccinated. Here’s a look at how some of America’s largest companies are handling their office reopenings.

Reconsidering the Reopening Stage

In the third quarter of 2021, the number of companies planning to reopen declined, according to Gartner. The researcher also reported that most companies are encouraging vaccination without mandating it. Some of the nation’s largest tech companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, have issued vaccine mandates for employees returning to work. Various issues are causing small businesses to rethink how they are handling the reopening process. Remote work has remained popular as a social distancing strategy.

Rising COVID-19 variant cases across all 50 states have caused businesses to reconsider how they will deal with multiple political, social, and health issues. In some places, workers are protesting the vaccine mandates aggressively. By July, nearly a third of businesses said they still had no reopening plans as per the Gartner study.

Many companies remain on the fence as to whether they should issue vaccine mandates. Workplace mandates requiring masks and social distancing have also become a key topic. A survey by CNBC found that nearly 40% of a limited group of HR executives at firms with over 10,000 employees had not altered their reopening plans.

The debate over Masks and Vaccine Mandates

The debate on whether people in any kind of public setting should wear a mask regardless of their vaccination status has heated up over the summer. In July, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reversed an earlier guideline by advising people who have been fully vaccinated to continue wearing a mask in public settings. Reports began to surface in the summer that the protective properties of the vaccines wane over time and that the vaccine may not be as effective against the new variants.

In early August, investment giant Vanguard announced it would pay employees $1,000 to get the vaccine. Pfizer, which is one of the few COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, said it was mandating vaccines or weekly testing for its employees as well as its vendors.

Earlier in the year, Gartner found that only 2% of the firms had issued vaccine mandates as the vaccine rollout was just starting. By July this number rose to 8%. The union for the Orange County Social Services Agency is calling for stricter pandemic protocols and more remote work options. On the other hand, the state of California is urging private employers to go along with vaccine mandates or weekly testing.

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4 Creative Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day During COVID-19

Mother’s Day gives you a chance to show your mom how much she means to you. Since COVID-19 has limited your options when it comes to going out to dinner or a movie, it’s up to you to find an alternative that your mom will enjoy. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to impress your mom. It will be the effort you put into her gift that means more to her than anything else.

Here are 4 creative ways in which you can celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day!

Breakfast in Bed

Letting your mom sleep in for an extra hour or so will give her a boost of energy she needs. Whether you give her a bowl of her favorite oatmeal or fix her eggs, bacon, toast, and pancakes, she will savor every bite. She may even share a little with you! Put a flower on the tray for a small splash of color. If your mom isn’t a fan of big breakfasts, coffee and toast may be just what she needs.

Create a Photo Collage

A photo collage is a great gift for Mother’s Day. A photo collage for each child is just one way to celebrate being a mom. Create a final collage that is made up of photos of all the children as a group. Collages can also be made for favorite vacations, family reunions, or any other event that holds special meaning for your mom. Go through your old family photo albums and see what you can dig up and put together for her.

Pick a Bouquet of Wildflowers

During the spring, wildflowers are in bloom almost everywhere. Look around your home or in nearby fields or meadows. If you can’t find the kinds of flowers you want out in nature, call your local florist. Ask about the different arrangements they offer. Depending on what you prefer, you can pick and choose the type of flowers you want and then choose a vase or planter. You can always choose a live plant and add a few accent flowers for color.

Queen of the Day

The best gift you can give your mom is making her feel like the queen she already is. Spend some extra time doing things with her that she likes. Clean the house for her. Make sure the laundry and dishes are done and put away. Buy a wax or mani/pedi kit and treat your mom with a home spa. It’s the little things that will make the day special and memorable for her. Buy her a tiara and crack open a bottle of champagne to celebrate her royal status. Give her a chance to enjoy herself on every level.

Put these ideas into effect to make this Mother’s Day memorable for your mom!

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