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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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What does the future of office work look like?

Posted at 8:52 AM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 08:52:44-04

(WXYZ) — Current workplace restrictions are getting an extension, and MIOSHA, the state's workplace watchdog, said it's enforcing the emergency rules for another six months.

Related: Whitmer says Michigan's workplace restrictions will be extended 6 months amid COVID surge

The agency reports 40 workplace deaths tied to COVID-19 since March of last year, and over 1,200 complaints of alleged workplace hazards.

As the state and the CDC work to get the surge in cases under control, there's a group of business and civic leaders, along with public health experts, working on recommendations for a safe return to the office.

"I can't really formulate a crystal ball as to what this thing is going to look like over the next several months. I think our number one goal is we want to make this office as safe for our employees as possible, especially in light is that we're selling materials that are designed to keep our offices safe like the cubicle guards," CG Detroit Vice President Jason Weiss said.

CG Detroit in Farmington Hills got innovative when the pandemic started, making Plexiglas barriers or cublice guards, which helped many businesses created a safe work environment.

"Just a tremendous amount of gratitude to our customer base and to our employee base because they're the ones that have been coming here everyday figuring this whole mess out and still keep our organization in the right direction," Weiss added.

With vaccinations seen by many in the health profession as the way out of the pandemic, Weiss said the vast majority of employees say they've received the vaccine. It's information they've volunteered to share.

What's next for the office layout? What does a post-pandemic office look like for CG Detroit?

"I don't know even know how I would answer that because I've really been living this thing like a lot of us on a day-to-day and week-to-week basis," Weiss said. "I don't know what tomorrow brings."

But, Weiss said they have had a solid plan for the past year, thanks to employee input. Every day, employees do a temperature check, answer COVID-19 screening questions and are required to wear masks. Plexiglas cubicle guards are installed, and office doors are kept closed.

"We're a manufacturing and production company. The very nature of our work is such that we physically have to be in the office to do it. So we have done our best to find ways to do that as safely as possible be we, of course, would follow any sort of state-mandated guidelines or procedures and certainly not look to go against that," Weiss said.