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Slow Return To Work As Non-Essential Offices Reopen In Mass.

WOBURN (CBS) - It was a slow return for office employees in Massachusetts Tuesday. Governor Charlie Baker gave the go-ahead for non-essential companies to bring back 25% of their workforce after Memorial Day.

At Cummings Properties TradeCenter 128 in Woburn, the building's management altered the ventilation system, "to really maximize the amount of fresh air that you can bring into the building while still allowing the building to maintain its efficiency," explained Derek Russell of Cummings Property Management.

The company has increased cleanings in and around bathrooms, and removed furniture from common areas. There are new signs reminding employees to keep their distance. "Many folks are looking forward to coming back into the office and miss the face-to face interaction," said Russell. "There is such thing as Zoom fatigue."

Social distancing office
Social distancing sign at Cummings Executive Suites in Woburn (WBZ-TV)

Also reopened as of Tuesday, Citron Hygiene in Billerica. "Some of the things that we've been doing there is staggered start times, making sure hand sanitizer stations are throughout," said Sales and Marketing VP Alison Mahoney. "And then proper disposal for those masks and gloves that we expect people to wear when they come back into the office," she said.

READ: Survey Shows More People Interested In Working From Home

But many companies are holding back. Eastern Bank branches have been open for essential work, but its corporate offices won't reopen until Labor Day.

"Over 80 percent of our employees told us that they prefer to work remotely," said CEO Robert Rivers. "In the interest of the safety of our employees we thought that would be the safe thing to do. We're obviously still in the middle of a pandemic, day cares haven't reopened, summer camps aren't in session. It just seems easier."

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