Heading Back to Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

The Four Percent

SINCE MARCH, many American professionals have been hunkered down at home, juggling labor and life in new and occasionally exhausting ways. Now, however, some companies are beginning to bring us back to our corporate offices, with all the attendant anxieties (elevators!) and opportunities (a defensible reason to escape the kids again!) that brings.

With the return to work—or at least to a hybrid of work and WFH—new issues are surfacing. In this collection of popular stories that The Wall Street Journal has published in recent weeks and months, we look at a few such issues, from what to wear to the office in this odd post-sweatpants moment to more serious matters, like whether to tell your boss about the toll the pandemic has taken on your mental health. But first, we examine a fixture of professional life from the before-times: happy hour and why some people are reclaiming the tradition even before they’re fully back in their cubicles.


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Enough of Zoom—Office Happy Hours Return

As the coronavirus has forced many to work from home, it’s also disrupted a fixture of office life—afterwork drinks. While virtual happy hours have helped keep colleagues in touch, many are gingerly trying to get back to traditional socializing and the informal networking that Zoom meetings can’t replace. Keeping that camaraderie going, some say, is “incredibly important.”



Can an Employer Require You to Get a Covid-19 Vaccine?

A more serious dilemma that comes with the return to work: Even before a Covid-19 vaccine is available to the general U.S. public, many businesses are wondering whether they can or should require their workforce to be vaccinated. Here’s a look at the legal considerations around potential mandatory vaccine policies.


Pete Gamlen

What to Wear to a Zoom Interview, and Other Style Dilemmas, Solved

Men’s work lives have changed in the Covid Era and so has the professional dress code they once adhered to. What should guys wear on a Zoom interview? What masks are appropriate for the boardroom? When is it OK to wear a suit again? Here, we ask the experts to solve seven men’s style conundrums


Gwenda Kaczor

Is It OK to Reveal Your Anxiety or Depression to Your Boss?

Mental-health issues have soared during the pandemic and companies are providing benefits. But is it risky to reveal your anxiety or depression to your boss? Before asking for accommodations, check out these tips on thinking through whom to talk to and what you need.


Jack Richardson

Wary of Subways? 6 Electric Options for a Solo Work Commute

While many American workers welcome a return to office life, crowded commuter trains and city buses are still scary. Solo trips across town—on everything from scooters to futuristic unicycles—can seem less risky. But which form of “micromobility” might suit you best?


Maxwell N. Burnstein

Offices, Zoom, Home-Schooling: How to Dress for Our New Reality

Women splitting time between video conferences, remote schooling and occasional trips to newly opened offices face a dilemma: How to dress for these complicated days? Experts and working women assemble fall wardrobes that combine WFH comfort and professional polish.

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