Covid policies and attitudes at work

The other thread is getting bogged down a bit. Curious what everyone’s experience is with respect to the ‘stated’ policies and how things are actually working or perceived.

I’m fully remote, as is about 2/3 of my company. The other third of us have office space but there is zero expectation anyone is in the office, ever.

We’ve been given 80 hours of time off for covid. You can use that if you’re sick, or if you need time off to get a PCR test, or if your child/spouse/grandma is sick and you need to do things for them. Even things like if your kiddo gets sent home and you need to help them with online classes. Our policy is basically if covid is affecting you and you need a day to handle something, go do that. I can’t recall if it’s been 80 hours per year or if it’s 80 hours total, I haven’t needed any time off. I did use company time to look for and to purchase (in person) the BinaxNow tests we were required to get for an all-staff meeting in October.

And, in practice, managers seem really flexible. If you’re doing a decent enough job at work and tell your manager that you need to take an afternoon off or you’ve got covid and you’ll be out for a week maybe, I haven’t heard of anyone getting prodded to keep their nose to the grindstone unless they are on a vent. Basically.

Used to be unlimited PTO if you or a dependent had COVID, for 2022 it’s 40 hours off for a dependent and regular PTO for yourself.

In-office attitude is “we assume you’ll be at home, come into work if you want, but not if you feel sick”. In-person meetings are banned, so even in the office people are at their own desks. Masks are to be worn if you’re not vaccinated.

I think 20% of our department is in the office most days. Informally it’s encouraged to self-quarantine if you’ve been visiting families for holiday or similar.

We can have in person meetings, with a but. We have a vaccine mandate, and afaik exceptions weren’t easy to come by… guessing we are like 98% vaxxed. And you have to do a BinaxNow rapid test every single day.

I think we’re supposed to test every day if not vaccinated. Haven’t looked in a while since it’s not applicable to me. Used to be meetings of more than 10 people or something required tests even if vaccinated, but then they got banned again.

Only “essential personnel” are allowed at work again. We’d been in the process of reopening starting just before Christmas. But reopening had really meant most people clearing out their cubes and taking everything home, as just about everyone had been given the option of continuing WFH permanently and most people are gonna do that. We also have 10 “covid days” we’re allowed to take this year to cover time we wouldn’t have had to take off had it not been for covid.

My wife’s office had a policy in place for a while that they wanted everyone to come in to the office at least once a week, and asked them to get a COVID test on site when they did go in. My wife got tested a lot.

After infection rates dropped in the second half of 2021, they started asking people to come in 3x/week and stopped emphasizing testing. The policy wasn’t really enforced though on attendance, and most folks came in less often than that. They not only have had in person meetings, but have had a couple where attendance was “strongly encouraged”. At one of those meetings someone in attendance found out they had COVID after the fact, and I was annoyed that my wife didn’t get notified via contact tracing. It was a big meeting with dozens of people.

They haven’t officially updated the policy with Omicron. She’s in the office for the 3rd time this week today.

Only allowed in office if you’re vaccinated. (Documentation submitted to 3rd party to verify though I don’t think anyone is really checking).

Everyone was expected to be in the office 3days/wk starting in October I think.
Last 2 weeks in December said everyone can work remotely.
Extended through Jan 24th right now. Vaccinated people can still go into the office if they want.

I don’t think we should have been pushed back into the office. If they don’t extend the current work from home further I might talk to my manager about staying home longer. Management has been pretty stupid about the whole thing so not really sure what they’ll do.

I was de facto WFH pre-pandemic, since I live 5+ hours away from my office.

Our offices are open for those who want to come in, but we’re being encouraged to only come in if necessary. There had been guidance to come into the office starting this month (for those of us who haven’t been re-confirmed as full-time WFH), but that’s been pushed off for the obvious reason, with a confirmation that we’ll have at least 30 days’ notice before being required to come in.

The RTO plans currently in abeyance were still somewhat dependent on the needs of individual departments, but the expectation still seems to be that 40% WFH will become the norm, with an expectation that people will WFH when sick. In my department’s social Teams meetings, there have been remarks about how we hope that we won’t have future repeats of that time when so-and-so came back from an overseas vacation and shared a nasty bug.

Went back one day a week in October. In person meetings allowed and encouraged for year end work. December in person meetings were halted and the week before Christmas we were told not to come in unless we want to. That policy is still in place until at least Jan 24

Unless you live out of the area you come in 2-3 days/week. 4-5 for supervisors. Right now most meetings are virtual but you can meet in person if you have space to distance and everyone is vaxed. If you are exposed or even a little bit sick you are supposed to work from home. If a supervisor needs to make different rules temporarily, they have been told to do so. (Eg, enough people sick that work in the same vicinity—go ahead and send everyone home. Act first and then let HR know.) This is for flu as well as Covid.

Honestly, while I’d love to WFH more, I feel pretty safe at work. If I get sick it will be bc my school bus driving husband brings it home. So far our vaccines have held up & school is virtual for a few days.

Small business here, so no real policies. We had someone get COVID last year, I just told them to take time off (paid) until they were better. They took about a week off.
That seems easy enough. If they were going to be gone like a month or something I’d have to think it through a bit deeper.
But we are all wfh and no plans to change that (I just dropped my office space that I’ve seen twice in the last two years).
One policy I do have. New hires must be vaxxed and boosted.

Thanks for sharing your plan. The bolded is a sticking point for me. When I’m sick, I don’t really want to work from the office OR home. I want to recover. But now, everyone assumes that I’m ALWAYS working.

I’ll tell my kids that once upon a time, when you were not physically in the office, people thought that you were not doing any work. Hell, sometimes I forgot that pre-pandemic, hybrid WFH people were actually working from home when I saw their office door closed.

With all the different modes of communication, it is difficult to update your working status on all of them. People will still call my cell; I’ll just need to let it go to v/m (and update my message?).

I should clarify, then, that I was writing that meaning a “if you’re sick, don’t come in” stance is expected to be the norm, rather than “if you’re not too sick to work, come in”… or perhaps “if you suspect you have some kind of bug, keep away from us” might be a better phrasing.

My company is actually pretty good about prioritizing self-care and family, to the extent that it was a bit of a cultural shock when I joined through an acquisition. My prior employers weren’t quite so…feel-goody (not sure how else to describe it) towards employees.

I do tend to work while sick…but I do that mostly out of self-defense. If I’m well enough, I prefer to stay busy and distract myself from how I’m feeling.

Got it. This thread serves to remind me how many more conversations are taking place via email that would be much more effective and efficient in person. I’ve never seen people misunderstand each other on email or a message board!

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I went in to the office for a couple of days last fall, but that has been completely optional, and has been the entire duration since March 2020. We have had various dates to move to a hybrid model, that keep getting pushed back. When I did go in, maybe 5% were in the office? Some people go in nearly every day. It felt pretty safe (before Omicron), mostly because it was empty, and vaccines were required to be in the office.

We have been given time off to get vaccines. I don’t think there was anything special if you were sick with COVID, but I could have missed something and never had to think about it thankfully.

I expect to go to a hybrid model later this spring and go in my 2-3 days a week. I didnt mind the few days I did go in, but it really didn’t add much value for me to be there. I just wanted to see a few people I had not met and know would be in and check out the office protocols before we were all supposed to go back. If hybrid is equally pointless because everyone picks different days and I am just on the phone with others anyway, I’ll ask to WFH most days and go in once or twice a month.

I believe my employer is expecting that individual teams/departments will pick 2-3 days where “everyone” will be in, but different teams will pick different days…and we’ve already started to reduce our real estate footprints in anticipation of that.

In the past few days, I read that one large company was planning to adopt a standard of “everyone in for collaboration on Tuesdays/Wednesdays/Thursdays; focused work at home on Mondays/Fridays”. Personally, I’d prefer to have those “focused work” days be midweek, rather than at the start/end of the week.

SCOTUS stays the vaccine mandate for large employers:

However, SCOTUS declines to stay an injunction against the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers:


In theory, we will all be required to return to the office two days a week, but it keeps being put off. In practice we’ve all been all remote since the start of the pandemic. (By “all”, i mean all the actuaries. Claims adjusters still need to look at houses to adjust claims. But most of the company has been work from home, since most of us have jobs that can be done remotely.) We have an extra pot of paid time off for covid, but i haven’t had to use it and don’t remember how much, or whether that’s changed this year.

Originally, HR proudly announced we wouldn’t have a vaccine mandate. Then, when the law was looming, they instituted one, to comply with the law. I’m really curious what they will do now.

We have rules for what precautions we need to take if we do choose to go into the office that are based on community transmission in the vicinity, which is smart, because they don’t need to keep changing the rules. Masks and attestations and (maybe) vaccination.

My company required everyone to be back 100% in office after Labor Day. No vaccine requirement but the unvaccinated are required to wear masks. I don’t think I need to comment on the attitudes at work…