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Local businesses prep for slow employee return

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DULUTH, MN -- As businesses are preparing for workers to return onsite, some are offering a hybrid schedule for employees.

After a year of working remotely, the loosening restrictions are making local businesses like Minnesota Power consider flexible schedule options for their nonessential employees.

Employers say their workers are in a variety of different situations due to the pandemic and require a different and adaptable career lifestyle.

Minnesota Power manager of Corporate Communication, Amy Rutledge, said the company plans to move to a hybrid approach this fall with some employees spending half their time in the office and half at home.

"This hybrid approach really marries the expectations of our employees who appreciate flexibility within their work schedule," Rutledge said.

"Our workplace has changed in so many ways that we can expect that people need a little time to adapt to change."

Kristi Stokes, President of the Great Duluth City Council conducted a work-life study in April with data showing that 50 percent of workers were working from home while the others were on site.

Considering the data, Stokes believes people want to return onsite while others require more of a hybrid approach established during the pandemic.

"We were seeing the trend of businesses coming back for the summer season we know there will be more trickling in during the summer," Stokes said.

Either way, businesses are bracing for more transition periods, expecting workers to require more time to adjust back to normal.

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