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woman backlit by window with face in hands It goes without saying that company culture took a hit this past year, and the siloed nature of remote work left many feeling isolated. (Photo: Shutterstock)

A year ago, we thought the wide availability of the COVID-19 vaccine would be the turning point that would return us to “normal life” and bring us back into the office. With the emergence of the Delta variant and the resulting uptick in cases, employers have difficult decisions to make around how to best keep their workforce safe – weighing various options from mandating vaccines to extending remote work. Many are adjusting return-to-work policies to be more hybrid-friendly, which presents new challenges. Not to mention the new vaccine mandate and what enforcement looks like for companies with more than 100 employees.

According to the Gartner report How Hybrid Working Can Transform the Employee Experience, “nearly six in 10 of the surveyed workers who said they are more productive overall within a hybrid work culture emphasized that flexibility of hours was the most important reason for that increase, followed by a change in physical space. Since the forced shift to remote work, organizations have been greatly concerned about the potential for workers’ productivity to drop. However, in many cases, productivity has actually increased, albeit at the cost of many workers becoming stressed and “burnt out.”

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