John Tory really wants people in Toronto to get back into the office
As of Monday in Toronto, mask mandates and vaccine passports are now gone, all businesses are back open sans capacity limits and things actually feel normal once more as we approach what will hopefully be a fun, safe summer — which will include people back at work, if Mayor John Tory has anything to do with it.
Today marked not only the shedding of masks in all indoor public spaces across the province, but also the return of City of Toronto employees to their offices after a lengthy stint of working from home, a lifestyle many residents have adjusted to after two years of COVID-19 closures and public health restrictions.
"Today, we cut a ribbon to send a clear message: Toronto's reopening is underway," Tory wrote on Twitter Monday morning.
And in the ceremony to officially reopen City Hall and other Toronto-owned buildings, the mayor said that he hopes other companies will likewise reopen their workspaces and ask staff who have been working remotely to come back in-person.
Thrilled to fully reopen City Hall and City buildings to the public and welcome back City office staff who have been working remotely during the pandemic.— John Tory (@JohnTory) March 21, 2022
This safe reopening is another sign of the progress Toronto has made confronting COVID-19.
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"I hope other businesses will follow our lead and I know from my meetings with major employers that most of them are, sometime over the next two or three weeks," Tory said, emphasizing the importance of being able to experience workplace culture and liaise with coworkers in the flesh.
"They say a lot of their employees want to come back, they certainly want them to come back and we're doing this as they will do it with health and safety in mind."
Tory is urging downtown employers to get staff back into offices to help revive the core. Says he's not choosing sides in remote work debate; acknowledges many workplaces will be "hybrid", says many workers are eager to get back into office for socializing/collaboration reasons— David Rider (@dmrider) March 21, 2022
City employees who were working remotely up until this point will now have to adopt at least a hybrid work model where they're in the office part of the time, as many other sectors are doing.
In the wake of the reflection that the pandemic brought, many employers are also toying with other new models of work, such as the four-day work week or more flexible vacation time.
Honestly, did these folks think they’d never have to go back to the office? Mind boggling.— ⚾️Alison T🇨🇦 (@TramontinAlison) March 21, 2022
The City launched a campaign last summer to help employers and their staff return to work safely, and while many people have been ready to get out of their home offices for months now, Omicron put those plans on hold last year while businesses signed leases for commercial space and drew up plans for how to proceed.
Hopefully, they won't all be reminding us how much our pets miss us and how comfy our all-day sweatpants were during the transition.
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