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Michigan businesses allowed to resume in-person work

Posted at 5:42 AM, May 24, 2021

(WXYZ) — Businesses in Michigan are now able to have workers come back in buildings as of Monday, after the state reached a vaccination benchmark of 55% of those with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine two weeks ago.

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It's been about 14 months of remote work for most companies, and some people could be returning to the office for the first time today.

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Many companies are easing back into things. In downtown Detroit, much of the office space owned by Rocket Companies will begin filling up as some employees will return to the office two or three days a week starting June 7.

"It's definitely mixed emotions. I miss the folks I got to interact with, I miss the camaraderie of working in an office space, I don't miss the commute for sure," Troy Feldpausch said.

He used to work in Farmington Hills, and now, he works anywhere he wants.

"I got an email saying you'll need to come into the office next week to gather your things, we've made the decision to permanently close the office," he said.

Most companies aren't jumping back in quickly.

Some, like Ford and General Motors, will have a gradual return to the office in late June or July, with a structure that offers much more flexibility with remote working.

For many others who have gotten used to working from home, there's a combination of eagerness and anxiety.

"That anxiety, I refer to as return phobia, which is more properly known as adjustment disorder," Mark Ostach, a digital wellness expert said.

He says for 14 months, we've all experienced various levels of trauma, and even for those excited to return to the office, expect an adjustment period.

"Some people might feel really exhausted because it took more energy to get ready and drive to the office, where as others haven't had this much in-person conversation in a long time," he said. "Give each other patience and extend that same patience to yourself.

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