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COVID-19 still threatens to disrupt work and plans

The continued presence of COVID-19 is disrupting what could have been a summer of renewed confidence in outings, according to a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report.

It comes as there has been a decrease in deaths and more acute illnesses – as opposed to the early days of the outbreak – due to protection from vaccines and previous infections.

But epidemiologists, including Jason Salemi, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, said there were still storm clouds on the horizon limiting the how people can act in the world.

“People can’t come to work. People are understaffed,” he said. “COVID-19 is still doing enough damage.”

The report notes how many people have returned to daily life as it was, including more weddings, more plane flights and going out in general.

It comes amid a huge glut of cases in the US, with around 100,000 cases a day – and countless numbers not officially recorded due to unreported home testing.

In 2021, cases were below 12,000 a day – the lowest since the first surge in early 2020, according to the report.

PYMNTS wrote that the pandemic has seen a number of changes, including an emphasis on remote working.

Read more: Block to close San Francisco headquarters, move to remote workforce

One such recent development has seen Block decide to permanently ax its physical headquarters in San Francisco in favor of letting employees work from home.

This will officially take place as soon as the lease expires in September 2023.

One factor is that employees will not be returning to traditional offices when pandemic restrictions end.

The office, located in the city’s Mid-Market district, is approximately 470,000 square feet, and the company has previously said it will no longer be needed due to the number of employees already working full-time remotely.



About: PYMNTS’ survey of 2,094 consumers for The Tailored Shopping Experience report, a collaboration with Elastic Path, shows where merchants are succeeding and where they need to up their game to deliver a personalized shopping experience.