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‘Hybrid and flexible:’ Salt Lake Chamber looks to future of the workplace

Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 19:50:22-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Many people have been working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some stayed home for a short time, some not at all and others are still working remotely.

As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be rolled out, there is hope for ‘normalcy’ again in the next year.

WATCH: FOX 13 Investigates: OSHA issues new pandemic guidelines to protect workers

There is no crystal ball, but the workplace will likely be different, Derek Miller, President & CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber, said.

“I think in the long term it is really going to cause companies is to really speed up some things that they were thinking about doing initially which is to have more flexibility,” he said.

Many companies will likely offer some sort of hybrid option and will shy away from renting out massive office spaces, Miller said.

“It will actually bode well for Salt Lake City to attract more tech companies, more innovation, start-up, entrepreneurial companies that would want to be in a place like a downtown Salt Lake City,” he said.

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For some people, going back to work full time in person will be an easy transition, for others it may prive to be more difficult, Dr. Travis Mickelson the Medical Director of Mental Health Integration for Intermountain Medical Center and a psychiatrist, said.

“I think we all need to take a moment and acknowledge what is the level of stress that move is having on us and really validating that,” he said.

People should focus on ways they are able to cope with stress, Dr. Mickelson said.

“Who do we turn to when we need some help and support and also make sure that we're role modeling for the people we care about,” he said.

READ: Third case of COVID-19 variant found in Utah

People should advocate for themselves and share what they are feeling about returning to the workplace with their employer, Dr. Mickelson suggested.

“We don’t want to have regrets and so we hate to have that regret of man I should’ve jus asked. Because perhaps our employer doesn’t know what we would like to do and its always in our control to speak up, use our voice and advocate for ourselves,” he said.

Teleworking has proven people can be just as, if not more productive, Miller said. This could really have a positive impact on rural Utah.

“Where your company is located doesn’t necessarily need to be where your job is located,” he said.