Big Tech Is Betting That Offices Are Still The Future
Big tech companies like Meta and Google were among the first to announce during the pandemic that they would allow some employees to work from home permanently, but they have also been spending billions of dollars expanding their office spaces.
Doubling down on offices may seem counterintuitive to the many tech workers who continue to work remotely. In January, 48 percent of people in computer and math fields and 35 percent of those in architecture or engineering said they had worked from home at some point because of the pandemic, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But companies, real-estate analysts and workplace experts said that several factors were propelling the trend, including a hiring boom, a race to attract and retain top talent and a sense that offices will play a key role in the future of work.
Debates over whether workers should be required to return to the office can be thorny because some employees say they have been happier and more productive at home. One way companies are trying to lure them back is by splurging on prime office space with great amenities.
Big Tech executives say that office expansions are to be expected and that modernized buildings will probably be spaces for people to collaborate rather than stare at screens. Meta, the parent company of Facebook, leased 730,000 square feet in Midtown Manhattan in August 2020, and has added space in Silicon Valley as well as in Austin, Texas Boston Chicago and Bellevue, Wash.
Illinois And Chicagos Vaccine And Mask Mandates To End Feb 28 Anticipation Builds For Imts 2022
The lifting of mask mandates and vaccine requirements in Illinois and Chicago mark a major step toward a more normal environment as plans take shape for IMTS 2022, to be held at Chicagos McCormick Place, Sept. 12-17. Peter R. Eelman
On Feb. 9, Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed plans to lift Illinois indoor mask mandate by Feb. 28 with the exception of schools. On Feb. 22, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the citys mask mandate, as well as the citys vaccine requirement for restaurant patrons, will also end Feb. 28 as a result of decreased COVID-19 metrics.
These changes indicate a major step toward a more normal environment as we make plans for IMTS 2022, taking place at Chicagos McCormick Place, Sept. 12-17. Momentum is already building.
Last month, we hosted a successful IMTS Exhibitor Workshop at McCormick Place with nearly 500 attendees. Last week, we launched our hotel webpages for IMTS 2022 through Global Housing Solutions, powered by AMT. Plus, were excited to see a growing number of trade shows moving forward in the coming months, such as the Inspired Home Show at McCormick Place, March 5-7.
IMTS has continued to keep the industry informed with our award-winning online content, but we know that coming together in person is an important part of building and strengthening relationships. We are excited about seeing old friends and finding new connections at IMTS 2022.
Theres a lot to look forward to at IMTS 2022:
Turkey Still Recovering From Pandemic Lockdowns Is Shocked By Soaring Electricity Bills
ISTANBUL Turkeys economy was already in recession before the pandemic hit, and because it relies heavily on tourism and the hospitality industry, the months of lockdown have badly hurt many businesses and robbed many residents of income. Now the country is grappling with runaway inflation.
The Turkish lira has sunk to record lows. Food and fuel prices have already more than doubled. Now it is electricity.
It began with a few outraged customers posting photographs of their electricity bills to social media, showing how charges had almost doubled at the end of January. But such complaints have quickly snowballed into a full-blown political crisis for the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
When Mr. Erdogan raised the minimum wage last month to help low-income workers, his government warned that there would be an increase in the utilities charges it sets. But few expected such a shock.
Restaurants and cafes trying to recover after two years of losses from the pandemic were reeling this month after electricity and gas bills doubled.
During the pandemic, we were closed for 19 months, said Ilker Tiniz, 37, who runs a family-owned restaurant in the southern city of Adana. We did delivery. My credit cards exploded, and we were taken to the debt enforcement office.
I wrote that tweet so that the government hears my voice, he said.
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A New Covid Vaccine Shows 100 Percent Efficacy Against Severe Disease And Hospitalizations Its Makers Say
Two doses of a new Covid vaccine that is based on a conventional approach achieved 100 percent efficacy against severe disease and hospitalizations, and it could be an effective booster after other Covid shots, the vaccines manufacturers announced on Wednesday.
The vaccine, made by the Europe-based pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and GSK, is one of four candidates that received billions of dollars for development from Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administrations program to accelerate vaccines.
The new vaccine had an efficacy of 75 percent against moderate-to-severe disease. It showed 58 percent efficacy against symptomatic disease in its Phase 3 clinical trial. Although that number is lower than was observed for the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna in their initial trials, it is in line with expected vaccine effectiveness in todays environment dominated by variants of concern, Sanofi and GSK said in a statement. The number of infections observed in the trial was small, however, and the efficacy may have been lower in a bigger trial.
Used as a booster dose after one of the other available coronavirus vaccines, the Sanofi-GSK shot increased antibody levels by 18- to 30-fold. The companies intend to submit the vaccine for authorization to regulatory authorities in the United States and Europe, they said on Wednesday.
The pharmaceutical company Novavax last month applied to the Food and Drug Administration for .
Masks In Schools Do Or Dont
Lightfoot said Chicago Public Schools is having discussions with its stakeholders and she expects an announcement in the coming days.
Under the safety agreement reached by the school district and the Chicago Teachers Union in January, masks would stay in place at least through the end of the school year. A CPS spokesperson confirmed this in a statement issued late Tuesday.
We have made great progress in recent weeks against this virus, and we do not want to jeopardize that progress by moving too quickly, the statement read. We look forward to the day when we can be mask-optional at CPS, but we still need to get more students vaccinated across our District, and we still need to work with our public health and labor partners on the best way to preserve a safe in-person learning environment for all.
The union also issued a statement Tuesday saying the agreement provides Chicagos public school communities with the legal right to guarantee safety, despite a right-wing legal attack to remove public health protections.
Meanwhile, a battle continues over whether the state can continue to require masks in schools.
Pritzkers lifting of the mask mandate made an exception for schools, where he said masks would still be required.
But last week, an Illinois appellate court halting the mask mandate and other mitigations in about 170 school districts.
That means individual school districts can decide their own mask policies.
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Osha Issues Interim Enforcement Guidance On The Meaning Of Work Related For Recording Cases Of Covid
On April 10, 2020, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued interim enforcement guidance for recording cases of the novel coronavirus under the agencys recordkeeping regulation at 29 C.F.R. § 1904, affecting what employers are required to record in their OSHA 300 logs. The guidance clarifies which cases of COVID-19 are considered work-related under 29 C.F.R. § 1904, which means it also affects employer obligations for cases that must be reported to OSHA .
Chicagos Mask And Vaccine Mandates Will End On February 28
Patrons will no longer be required to wear a mask or show their vax card when entering most public spaces.
You soon won’t have to wear a mask or present your vaccine card to enter most public spaces in Chicago anymore, city officials announced Tuesday afternoon. Starting February 28, Chicago will officially lift its mask mandate and vaccine requirements for restaurants, bars, gyms and indoor settings where food is served.
Based on key data, it looks as if the worst of the Omicron surge is behind us and we will be able to safely remove these emergency measures instituted to protect the health and safety of our residents, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a press release.
The announcement follows Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s previously announced plans to end the Illinois mask mandate on the same date. Earlier in the month, it remained unclear whether Chicagowhich has a separate mask mandatewould follow in the state’s footsteps, as the Chicago Department of Health instead opted to wait until the city had seen declines in four key Covid-19 metrics for two weeks. As of February 21, Chicago has entered the requisite lower risk range for three of the four categories in a statement, officials from the Mayor’s Office said the one lagging category was offset by the much higher testing and very low-test positivity.
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The Tribune Explores An Unsung Birria Destination In Portage Park
Northwest Side storefront Barca Birrieria y Restaurant, a cozy family-owned spot specializing in birria tatemada, could be a strong contender for one of the best spots for the succulent Mexican goat stew in all of Illinois, according to Tribune dining critic Nick Kindelsperger. A pandemic pivot from owner Margarita Nunez, who previously operated Sabor a Jalisco in Avondale, and her son, Osvaldo , the restaurant at 4754 W. Belmont Avenue features birria topped with deeply savory consommé that eschews tomato in favor of a deeply meaty profile spiked with various spices, alongside tacos and crispy quesabirria.
Gov Jb Pritzker Will Lift The States Indoor Mask Mandate But Not In Schools
Chicago Public Schools will continue to require universal masking for all staff and students, the district confirmed Tuesday. Lightfoot said that businesses are also able to keep restrictions in place, if they choose.
That is their right and we must respect it, the mayor said. Folks, be kind and conscious of your fellow neighbors.
As Illinois prepares to lift its mask mandate next Monday following Gov. JB Pritzkers announcement last week, various counties and municipalities in the state can still set their own rules.
The lack of a uniform policy across the state has resulted in mixed messages with different rules for different places that are determined by different officials. Sometimes that happens even in the same city.
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Chicago Cook County To Lift Mask Mandates And Vaccine Requirement Feb 28
Chicago and Cook County health officials announced plans to revoke pandemic masking and vaccination entry requirements by Feb. 28, the day Illinois statewide mask mandate will be lifted. Pritzker has warned Illinoisans to keep masks handy.
Chicago and Cook County health officials said they will lift the citys proof of vaccination requirement and indoor mask mandate by Feb. 28, nearly two years under COVID-19 mitigations.
The news follows Gov J.B. Pritzker announcement that the statewide indoor mask mandate will be lifted on Feb. 28, excluding in schools, hospitals and on public transit. Pritzker said the indoor mask mandate will remain in effect at these venues throughout the city, county and state.
We are on track to come out on the other side of this latest COVID storm in better shape than even the doctors expected, Pritzker said at a news conference Feb. 9. If these trends continue, and we expect on Monday, Feb. 28, we will lift the indoor mask requirement for the state of Illinois.
The decision to phase out statewide pandemic protocols coincides with announcements this week that New York, New Jersey, California, Delaware, Connecticut, Nevada and Oregon will do the same.
The governor cautioned Illinoisans keep masks handy to comply with these lingering mandates and others set forth by local jurisdictions and businesses.
Chicago Office| Illinois Policy300 S. Riverside Plaza | 1650 |Chicago, IL 60606
Cook County Dropping Its Mandates
In suburban Cook County, the mask and vaccine requirements are set to end on the governors timeframe at the end of the month, as well.
County public health officials said its COVID-19 metrics, which are the same as those used by Chicago officials, are also continuing to trend downward.
Although the mandates will be removed, officials noted many people may still wear masks.
We ask for continued understanding and kindness to those who choose to wear a mask, said Dr. Kiran Joshi, CCDPH Co-lead and Senior Medical Officer.
County officials still strongly recommend wearing masks in schools and crowded indoor public settings.
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The Us Mask Mandate For Air Travel Is Due To Expire But Some Flight Attendants See Reasons To Keep It
With federal in-flight and airport mask mandates scheduled to expire next month, a flight attendants union released a statement on Tuesday suggesting that extending the mask requirement made sense for everyones safety.
The statement, from the Association of Flight Attendants-C.W.A., listed concerns about allowing the mask requirement to lapse, including that passengers under 5 are not yet eligible for a vaccine in the United States.
We have every expectation that the mask mandate will be extended, the union said in a statement on Tuesday. The conditions in aviation are the same. Our youngest passengers do not yet have access to the vaccine. The airplane is a unique, but controlled environment for everyones safety. The layered approach to safety and security includes masks. Aviation is a world-wide network that harmonizes safety procedures around the world. Its also critical that we maintain passenger confidence in the safety of air travel.
The Biden administration imposed the mask rule for flights a year ago, during a brutal rise in coronavirus cases across the country before vaccines were widely available. People who did not comply were subject to fines. The Transportation Security Administration extended the mandate twice as deadly new waves of infection washed over the nation.
Many flight crews are anxious about the prospect.
Susan Campbell Beachy contributed research.
City Of Chicago And Cook County Ending Proof Of Vaccination And Mask Requirements On February 28
The city of Chicago has announced that it will remove the mask and proof of vaccination requirements for restaurants, bars, and other public spaces on Monday, February 28 to align with the state of Illinois previously announced plans to lift the statewide indoor mask mandate on that day. Additionally, Cook County has announced it will also lift its respective mask and proof of vaccination mandates on February 28. to read the city announcement. to read the county announcement.These announcements are an encouraging sign of better times ahead for Chicago and Cook County’s restaurant and hospitality community. This is a meaningful step that will increase consumer confidence and keep our restaurants on a steady path to recovery.
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Warsaw Inn Owner May Delay Closure After Half A Century Following Outpouring Of Support
The Warsaw Inn, the 50-year-old Polish culinary landmark, may live on after outpouring of support led owner Angie Golom to reconsider closing the restaurant at 2180 Glenwood-Dyer Road in suburban Lynwood, according to the Tribune. Golom on Valentines Day announced her plans to retire and close the restaurant on Sunday, February 27, but has since received thousands of phone calls and Facebook comments from patrons hoping to visit one last time. The deluge of well-wishes has prompted Golom to think about delaying the closure and put the business up for sale in the hope that another operator will take it over.
Transit Health Care Will Keep Masks
The mayor noted that masks would continue to be required on public transit, in health care settings and in other congregate spaces, following federal mandates and CDC guidance.
Lightfoot also urged understanding of individual decisions, something that has been in short supply in recent weeks during the raging controversy over masks that has divided the nation.
Many residents may continue to wear masks in public spaces for a variety of reasons even if they are vaccinated or as more mandates and advisories fade. … Also, some venues may continue to impose their own mitigation efforts to keep their clients and customers safe. That is their right. And we must respect it, Lightfoot said.
Noting that she caught a mild case of COVID-19, Lightfoot said she intends to continue wearing a mask, particularly in restaurants where diners will soon have no idea whether other customers are vaccinated.
I dont want to put myself at risk. … Thats my personal choice, Lightfoot said.
Illinois Restaurant Association President Sam Toia welcomed the mayors decision to lift the mandates, keeping to the same statewide date set by Pritzker.
Were going back to a sense of normalcy. Thats what the general public wants to see. And if operators still want to impose mask mandates at their individual restaurants, they can. I think there might be a few, Toia said.
Since Jan. 3, Chicago has required restaurant, bar and gym patrons to show proof of vaccination and a photo ID.
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Chicago Chef Brian Jupiter Wins Chopped
Brian Jupiter, the chef and owner of Ina Mae Tavern & Packaged Goods in Wicker Park and the Frontier in Pulaski Park, won this weeks episode of Food Network cooking show Chopped, a special Black History Month celebration, the Tribune reports. The show requires its chef contestants to create meals from a selection of mystery ingredients. Jupiter served Gullah red rice fritters, a seared pork chop with creamy millet, an okra salad, and, for dessert, a meringue made from whipping the liquid in a can of black-eyed peas and mixing it with fried ham hocks, sorghum molasses, frozen peaches and pralines.