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.

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Biden says he will take COVID-19 vaccine if "body of scientists" says it's ready

Joe Biden said at an ABC town hall Thursday night that he would take a potential coronavirus vaccine if one became available by the end of the year "if the body of scientists" says it's ready.

Why it matters: Biden and others have expressed fears that the Trump administration has politicized the coronavirus response and is seeking rapid approval and distribution of a vaccine.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month Putin mandates face masks.

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.