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🏢 Do Chicagoans want to go back to the office?

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


Chicago Returns Week is a new city-backed effort to celebrate workers back in the office this week with events, prizes, and a social media campaign. 

But is that enough to incentivize employees to return? More than 60% of workers across the country who can work from home choose to, according to a Pew Research Center study.

Some Chicago employees are worried about long, crowded commutes while others simply prefer the work-from-home flexibility, WBEZ reported. 

Plus, COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, a concern for many remote workers. Suburban Cook County entered medium transmission risk Friday.

Where do employers stand on returning to work? It depends. 

Many of the 68 executives surveyed in December thought their companies would return to the office by the end of March, at least a couple days a week, according to a poll by the Chicago Returns organizers.

▪️ Last month, Google staffers returned to the Midwest headquarters office in West Town three days a week, according to ABC Chicago.

Other companies have said they’re more fully remote or hybrid. 

▪️ Boeing told City Cast that the Chicago-based aerospace company has adapted to hybrid work “to engage with our people, customers, and other stakeholders.” A Walgreens spokesperson added that workers returned in hybrid roles to the Deerfield and the Old Post Office locations April 4.

▪️ John Deere workers are encouraged to come to the new Fulton Market facility once a week or once a month, but not required, the Chicago Tribune reported. 

Other industries, like downtown restaurants, depend on office workers. The city’s 17,000-plus federal workers have been trickling back to work since last month. Revival Food Hall had its busiest day in two years, a director at the Loop food hall told Block Club Chicago.

Tell us how you feel about in-person work. Fill out this poll.


Lucy Westlake isn’t walking with her class at Naperville North High School’s graduation this month.

She’s climbing Mount Everest, the youngest American woman to do so. 

She’s been preparing for the trek by climbing to the highest points in each state and the highest points on four of the seven continents. 

🎧 City Cast’s Simone Alicea, also a climber, caught up with Westlake from a base camp at Mount Everest.

💡 Learn more about the young climber.

👉 Donate to her GoFundMe.


▪️ Cops are investigating two fires that happened within an hour of each other Sunday in Back of the Yards, displacing more than a dozen people. [NBC Chicago]

▪️ Propane tank explosions in Uptown encampments led to Ald. James Cappleman, 46th Ward, and city officials disagreeing over whether unhoused residents should move. [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Feds are trying to increase access to antiviral COVID-19 treatments like Paxlovid and Lagevrio, which have been hard to find in Illinois. [WBEZ]

▪️ Before WNBA champs Chicago Sky play the LA Sparks Friday at the team’s home opener, read about two-time league MVP Candace Parker’s legacy ahead of what could be her final season. [Chicago Sun-Times]

▪️ It’s not just you: April’s weather was weird, from sunny 80-degree days to more snow to three tornadoes Saturday. [WTTW]

▪️ In Peoria, friends walked nearly 1,250 miles on 170 walks over almost two years in the Central Illinois city to combat pandemic boredom. Their walks live on their Pedestrians in Peoria Facebook page. And, yes, they’re still walking. [New York Times]

Black-and-white photo shows spectators watching baseball game.
White Sox and Cubs at South Side Park October 1909. (Chicago History Museum / Getty Images)

The Sox are headed to Wrigleyville to play the Cubs in the first Crosstown Classic game of the season, a rivalry that goes back decades. 

Wondering who to bet your money on? The Sox have the better track record, including at the very first series. 

In 1903, Cubs pitcher Jack Taylor was accused of throwing games for a little cash and a trade to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubbies sat out of the 1904 series because of the accusation. 

🎟️ Get tix today or Wednesday at 6:40 p.m., or watch NBC Sports Chicago
💻 Read how each team has fared so far from CHGO’s Kevin Kaduk.
🕰️ Take a trip down more Crosstown Classics past via the South Side Sox.
🗓️ Head to Bridgeport for the next faceoff Memorial Day weekend.

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