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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While the coronavirus' months-long work-from-home experiment is working out for some firms and their employees, many other workers are stressed out or cooped up in their homes — and eager to return to their workplaces.

Why it matters: Corporate America's decision to send their workers home in March was an overnight one, but bringing those people back will take much longer. It'll happen over months and in phases.

What's happening: Human resources departments around the country are fielding emails from workers asking when they can start coming in again, and they're formulating plans to open back up safely.

  • Cloudflare, the web infrastructure company, is soliciting petitions from employees and will let a fraction return to work first based on who makes the most compelling argument, reports Quartz. Is it hard to take a sales call because you're working around one kitchen table with three roommates? Do your pets make it impossible for you to concentrate?
    • But problems could arise from asking staff to share personal information, Quartz notes. People could have any number of reasons why they feel stressed — or even unsafe — working from home that they don't want to share with their employers.
  • Other companies, Apple among them, are starting by inviting back those workers who cannot do their jobs remotely.

The bottom line: Even though there are many people who can't wait to be back in the office, many of those people become less excited when they hear what the post-pandemic office will look like.

  • Workers envision big meetings and coffee breaks with colleagues, but when they hear the office will have only a few people — plus social distancing and temperature screenings — far fewer say they want to come back, Janet Van Huysse, head of people at Cloudflare, told Quartz.

Go deeper

Biden allies demand help for gig workers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Activists are urging Joe Biden to turn his focus to a recovery plan for the gig economy, saying there's a moral and political imperative to help Americans who rely on short-term, on-demand contract jobs for their livelihoods.

Why it matters: "You're missing voters that would be aligned with Biden," said María Teresa Kumar, CEO of Voto Latino, who's engaged the Biden campaign on this. "It’s not just young voters — it’s millions of African American and Latino voters that if you mention they’re part of this economy, it’d go a long way."

Mike Allen, author of AM
33 mins ago - Economy & Business

America on borrowed time

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Economic recovery will not be linear as the world continues to grapple with the uncertainty of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Despite being propped up by an extraordinary amount of fiscal stimulus and support from central banks, the state of the global economy remains fragile.

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.