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As the pandemic drags on, will work culture ever look the same again?

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Since the pandemic began, much of life has been completely upended. Work culture is no exception.

Before the pandemic, of workers who said their job could be done from home, just one-in-five workers did so. By the end of 2020, 71% of those workers said they were working from home most, if not all, of the time.

This year brought more of the same: A survey of 238 executives found two-thirds of organizations pushed back their return to office plans because of COVID-19 variants, and some are pushing back the date as far as 2023, or indefinitely.

But many jobs that couldn’t relocate to a guest room, such as grocery store and retail workers, were dubbed “essential,” all the while facing the challenges posed by COVID-19, often with less economic and social safety nets.

And amid the tumult, many workers are quitting. Dubbed the “Great Resignation,” 4.3 million Americans among virtually all industries left their jobs this August alone.

As experts predict the omicron variant of COVID-19 will soon dominate new cases in the United States, we look toward the future of work and whether American work culture is permanently changing as pandemic habits are lasting longer than anticipated.

GUESTS

Misty Heggeness, principal economist for the U.S. Census Bureau

Becky Drozdz, HR advisor at Catapult

John Kello, Davidson College, professor of psychology

Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.