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North Main Hokie

Joined: 01/01/2005 Posts: 1863
Likes: 457

I'm one of those execs, and this has been our thought process....

I'm on the leadership team of a 600-person software company. I have responsibility for HR and Facilities, amongst other things, so have spent a ton of time on this topic over the past 12 months (when I joined the company).

First, we have the luxury of fully-remote work if needed, due to the nature of our business. That clearly makes things easier, and we have in fact been fully remote since last March. We were headed toward full reopening next week (except in a few international locations where reopening is not yet allowed). Then, a few weeks ago, we decided to dial it back. We still intended to reopen, but canceled all our reopening festivities, disallowed non-essential visitors (i.e. only deliveries, maintenance, etc.), and required masks in common areas (not at your desk). This was the plan until today.

That's because yesterday, the counties in which our two largest US offices are located both announced moving to their highest risk levels, which essentially equates to "if you're not vaccinated you should stay home." The discussion I had today with our leadership team was whether we should (1) continue with soft reopening but follow the local guidance (tell employees not to come in if they're not vaccinated); or (2) postpone.

We are leaning toward the former, but not because we are really pushing to get people back into the office. We're inclined to reopen because we know we have a subset of employees who have really struggled for the past 17 months, don't have an ideal work-from-home set-up, or maybe are just really sick of their families. Those employees really, really want to come back to work, at least a few days a week, and we're trying to accommodate them.

A few other points in our case: we are not requiring anyone to come into the office, at least for the foreseeable future. The long-term plan is hybrid, and most will have the option to work remotely nearly full-time (I only say "nearly" because many roles will have the occasional requirement to be in for some reason). It also means vaccination will never be a condition of employment, because the unvaccinated can still work from home. We're also not requiring proof of vaccination in this current phase; rather simply telling employees not to come in if they're not vaccinated (and trusting them to do the right thing). And we'll dial back the vaccine and mask requirements over time, following local guidance for each office.

This stuff is really tricky. I get the mistrust of leadership at certain companies. We've tried to be really transparent about our plans, and balancing the needs and desires of different groups of employees with different personal situations and beliefs. Time will tell if our approach is the right one (I'm not even convinced we've got it all right) but I do feel good about the thoughtfulness with which we've approached the situation.

Anyway, one company's/leader's perspective.

(In response to this post by WestyHokie)

Posted: 08/12/2021 at 4:25PM


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Current Thread:
  Your question is based on a completely flawed premise -- Vienna_Hokie 08/12/2021 7:36PM
  Exactly. ** -- Hokie CPA 08/12/2021 7:48PM
  Been going to the office every day since Dec 2020 -- MrBayAreaHokie 08/12/2021 5:37PM
  Facebook? ** -- Hokiehouse7 08/12/2021 7:50PM
  Ha, no, just a little bit smaller than them ** -- North Main Hokie 08/12/2021 7:59PM
  Not true -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 3:45PM
  Thanks for stopping by ** -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 3:46PM
  Back at you. 😀 ** -- Hoakie82 08/12/2021 4:00PM
  …shelter in place -- chumley 08/12/2021 3:19PM
  No. I don't think the execs are saying that -- Beerman 08/12/2021 3:09PM
  The reasoning goes ... -- Beerman 08/12/2021 3:55PM
  Good take. Pretty close to how I feel. ** -- RoswellGAHokie 08/12/2021 3:22PM
  I never stopped going to the office. -- Chris Coleman  08/12/2021 3:04PM
  I actually took almost no risk -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 2:55PM
  Hey, you do you. If you don't feel comfortable -- MADHOKIE 08/12/2021 3:01PM
  What's your thought on schools? -- JoesterVT 08/12/2021 2:57PM
  Unfortunately that is no longer true w/Delta -- JoesterVT 08/12/2021 3:20PM
  Which is the problem ** -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 3:50PM
  Agree except masks does not equal normal. ** -- Hokiehouse7 08/12/2021 2:58PM
  I just don't see a way out.... -- JoesterVT 08/12/2021 2:53PM
  True; it's an interesting discussion -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 2:50PM
  I need a clarification... -- vthokieq 08/12/2021 2:26PM
  I hear ya, but two different environments -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 2:29PM
  Got it. ** -- RoswellGAHokie 08/12/2021 2:32PM
  U cant stop transmission. The bug is gonna bug. ** -- ColoVT82 08/12/2021 2:08PM
  OK, "reduce opportunities for transmission" ** -- WestyHokie 08/12/2021 2:11PM
  We are all going to become infected by SARS COV-2 -- HokieJay 08/12/2021 3:36PM
  Never any hindcasting -- LaneRat 08/12/2021 4:20PM

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