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Back to work, back in buildings

After working from home, some employees are heading back to the office and business owners are getting ready. Experts weigh in on changes employers may have to make.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — As more people get vaccinated, some companies are calling people who have been working from home back into the office.

“We need to get back. The question is, how do we get back to maximize the public health safety of all?” said public health researcher Sheldon Jacobson.

Experts like Jacobson say there is no simple solution, no one-size-fits-all fix.

In many cases, it means adding new sanitizing systems and protective shields, and in some cases, even staggering start times to keep people separated and as safe as possible.

“Companies may start to have lag schedules so that instead of using traditional 8 to 5 schedule for work, work in unusual hours if the company allows it.”

Jacobson says making the physical changes like reworking the layout of offices and adding new sanitizing systems and safeguards may be expensive and adds that these kinds of things will not be temporary changes.

“Some people just don’t feel comfortable going back to work. That is a short-term solution, but it’s not sustainable ultimately. There is value; we have lost that in the last year.”

Experts say the number one safeguard is vaccination. The more employers who have the shot, the safer they all are when they come together.