As 2021, perhaps unbelievably, nears a close, the world is two years into COVID and a year into vaccination against the disease. While in some ways normalcy has returned, from sporting events to holiday gatherings, the uncertainty of the path forward remains stark for businesses.
Many questions remain as we head into the new year. There is the ongoing question of vaccine mandates and whether businesses should, or can, handle them with respect to their employees. The precariousness of it is demonstrated clearly by the Biden Administration’s attempted federal vaccine mandates, which continues to suffer legal setbacks. It is topic businesses will have to stay constantly on top of going forward, as the requirements and enforceability potentially change.
The question around work from home and how to balance it also looms. While many imagined a relatively normal return to work, albeit with many opting for at least some continued work from home, it’s not clear this will entirely be a matter of choice going forward. The Omicron variant is spreading and questions of its severity remain. This has some companies, like Lyft, continuing to allow their employees full flexibility to work from home next year.
In some form, these are issues that businesses have been dealing with for some time and, if nothing else, we’ve learned to adapt quickly. However, one new question for 2022 compared to a year ago is the continued rise in inflation and the difficulties of finding employees in some industries.
A new year brings hope. At the beginning of 2021 there was vaccines and the progressive return to normal for businesses. Heading into to 2022, the hope is that the progress remains and that new challenges in inflation and employment can be handled such that they are behind us at this time next year, as we look forward to another hope-filled year.
With the constant changes that can impact a business, an experienced legal team can help navigate a difficult time for businesses, particularly with the ever-changing landscape for companies during the current crisis.