my firm is requiring us to journey as a result of “they miss us” — Ask a Supervisor

A reader writes:

My firm’s headquarters are based mostly out of a metropolis the place the Delta variant is at the moment climbing quickly, and the place journey restrictions have not too long ago been added consequently. I’m a distant worker based mostly out of one other a part of the nation, and over half of our division is distant as properly. I’ve simply discovered that, regardless of this, our division head is requiring my total group to fly out to our HQ in two weeks as a result of they “miss seeing all of us” and suppose our subsequent group assembly could be extra satisfying if it was in-person.

Is there a well mannered technique to deal with this? Our firm doesn’t require vaccinations to work from our HQ, and a few group members can be touring from areas the place vaccinations are low. We additionally had points early within the pandemic the place an worker got here into the workplace with Covid signs this previous winter and brought on a panic, so I wouldn’t have religion in management concerning our security. I would like to not go in any respect, however I don’t actually know find out how to deal with this.

For the love of ramen, what the hell is mistaken together with your firm?

I imply, I do know the reply as a result of the final yr has taught us the reply in comparatively devastating methods.

However actually, whereas case numbers are rising and the Delta variant is climbing quickly, they suppose it is best to journey as a result of they miss you?

No.

Some issues you possibly can say:

* “I’m not snug touring proper now, with the rising case numbers and the CDC’s newest warnings.”

* “My physician advised me to not journey proper now.” (You’ll be able to name your physician and clarify the state of affairs and this can be true.)

* “My physician advised me to not journey wherever with excessive case numbers proper now.”

* “This isn’t one thing I’m in a position to do proper now due to Covid.”

* “I’ve high-risk relations and may’t put their well being at risk.”

Please encourage your colleagues to do the identical.

Individuals are usually afraid of taking this type of hard-line stance, so please know that it really works surprisingly usually, significantly in the event you’re simply very matter-of-fact about it — your tone ought to convey that in fact any affordable individual would agree you possibly can’t go as soon as they hear this. And actually, even unreasonable/reckless employers are very more likely to settle for “my physician mentioned it’s not potential” on this context. Actually, you’re a lot much less more likely to get pushback on this than you would possibly worry. (That doesn’t imply it solves issues 100% of the time. But it surely does quite a lot of the time.)

And naturally, in the event you get pushback on “this isn’t protected for me,” that places you squarely in GET OUT GET OUT territory (to no matter extent you’re not already there).

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