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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies around the world are trying to solve the back-to-work puzzle — but few workers trust their bosses to make the right decisions.

By the numbers: Just 14% of employees trust CEOs or senior managers to lead the return to work, according to an Edelman survey. Only half believe their offices are safe.

Between the lines: There's little consensus regarding which safety measures are needed for people to return to offices. Only about half of Americans think that masks and social distancing should be mandated, and even fewer think that temperature checks and plastic dividers are necessary.

  • Looking ahead: Many CEOs are looking for a vaccine before reopening workplaces, but 42% of Americans say they're either unsure or determined not to take a vaccine.

Why it matters: "This return to workplace is huge for business, if done safely and well," says Edelman Global CEO Richard Edelman. "If not, you’ll have a 2008 moment, when trust in business was really diminished."

Workers also expect their bosses to take a stand against systemic racism, per another new Edelman report.

  • 61% of American expect corporations to publicly speak out against racial injustice.
  • But while 62% trust small businesses to do so, only 43% feel the same way about large companies.
  • Still, people have placed far more trust in companies to respond to racial injustice (71%) than in the government (36%).

The bottom line: Between navigating the return to work and responding to racial justice protests, businesses have an opportunity to distinguish themselves to workers and consumers alike.

Go deeper

Dec 17, 2020 - Health

Biden set to take coronavirus vaccine in public next week

President-elect Biden during a Dec. 11 event in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President-elect Biden plans to take the COVID-19 vaccine in public and he could receive a dose as early as next week, his transition team confirmed to Axios Wednesday.

Details: "I don't want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take," Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware, Wednesday. "When I do it, I'll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done."

3 hours ago - Technology

TikTok drives new nostalgia economy

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Older brands, trends and technologies are making a comeback as younger consumers desperately chase slower, less chaotic times.

The big picture: TikTok's algorithm makes it easy for flashback items to resurface and quickly go viral both on its platform and eventually on other social networks.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.