Increasing vaccination is leading to a return to in-person work – sparking mixed reactions and a cascade of concerns about safety protocols and mask-wearing that could make navigating “new-normals” in the workplace contentious.
CDC guidance offers dispensation for “small gatherings” of vaccinated individuals to meet indoors without masks. But whether or not private gatherings include the corporate boardroom is up to employers.
Some fully vaccinated employees are pressuring employers to allow meetings among vaccinated employees without masks. But CDC guidelines explicitly state that fully vaccinated employees must follow guidance issued by their employers, so standard COVID-19 precautions like social distancing and mask-wearing in the workplace could remain in place— at least for now.
Employers are likely to face concerns from employees on both sides of the mask debate— from those who would rather continue to work from home if being in the office means socially-distanced, masked meetings—to those who don’t feel safe coming into the office at all.
Research is underway to determine when – or if – the masks can come off once and for all. But for now, mask-wearing is still encouraged and even required by many business and restaurants in states where mask mandates are starting to lift.