Boston Business Journal

‘Fear Factor': What Top Mass. Employers Are Weighing in the Return to Work

'I think this more change than people are used to dealing with,' said Peter Markell, chief financial officer of Mass General Brigham.

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Massachusetts employers should prepare for psychological fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and plan to have a workplace testing strategy, two of the Bay State’s top employers said.

In a virtual panel as part of the World Medical Innovation Forum, Peter Markell, chief financial officer of Mass General Brigham, and Marc Casper, president and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., said employers will likely have to confront and assuage employees' fears about returning to the office. Testing is expected to play a key role in providing confidence.

“I think there's two things we're very focused on," Markell said. "One is this pure fear factor. And how do we help employees overcome that? But the other is a real mental health issue and you can argue the two are related… Some people do better with change than others. I think this is more change than most people are used to dealing with.”

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