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A mask-free return to the office? Intuit is considering it in highly-vaccinated Israel

February 26, 2021, 12:20 AM UTC

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The office closures imposed by many countries in March because of the pandemic were supposed to be brief. They weren’t—and a return to normalcy is still far from certain.

As we near the one-year anniversary of those lockdowns, business leaders at Fortune’s Reimagine Work Summit on Feb. 24 discussed how companies will reopen and what work’s future will look like.

The takeaway? Neither work-from-home nor a return to business as usual will win out. Instead, Corporate America will go with a more mixed approach.

“We are going to be embracing a hybrid model,” said Chris Glennon, vice president and chief real estate officer at tax softwaremaker Intuit. The challenge, he explained, will be to make sure technology used by employees works, and that teams thrive and generate new ideas in hybrid settings.

While U.S. workers haven’t reached a consensus on the future of work, they’re most open to the hybrid model. A Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll of 2,616 U.S. adults from Feb. 11 to 16 found that once the pandemic ends, 42% of office workers would prefer combining a mix of remote and in-office working. Meanwhile, 36% of workers prefer solely working from the office, and 18% say they’d prefer to only work remotely.

If companies do embrace hybrid or full-on remote, it’ll mean a big cutback in commercial office space. Billy Dexter, managing partner at executive recruiting firm Heidrick & Struggles, said his company is only using 25% of its office space. Post-pandemic, he expects his company to reduce its office footprint as it adopts a hybrid model.

A reduction in office space is already happening across America. And it could soon accelerate. In January, a Fortune survey in collaboration with Deloitte of more than 100 CEO found that 75% of them say they’ll need less office space in the future, while only 4% said they’ll need more.

As the vaccine rolls out worldwide, we should get a better idea in the coming months what the future of work will look like. The best indication could come from Israel.

“Israel at the moment has done a fantastic job with vaccinations as a country, leading the world in that area,” Glennon says.

As a result, Intuit’s staff in Israel is eager to get back to business as usual, he said. That sentiment paired with the country’s high vaccination rate is why the company is considering allowing staff there to return without masks.

If it works, American companies could soon follow-suit—pending more vaccinations and fewer COVID-19 cases, of course.