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The Alliance’s Action Steps are designed to assist organizations with implementing practical strategies and policies related to diversity and flexibility. Members can access full versions of all of the Alliance’s Action Steps in the Member Resource Center

Organizations are planning how/when to reopen their offices as states are easing restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic. As we enter the hybrid stage (i.e. the phase prior to a vaccine and complete reopening of schools), some employees will return to the office and others will continue to work remotely. This raises complications for many employees, especially caregivers, since several schools, childcare centers, and camps have remained closed. During this time, it’s particularly important for leaders to demonstrate empathy and appreciation for employees, including caregivers, who have been working hard while juggling personal responsibilities. Organizations can help caregivers succeed during this time and reduce their stress in a number of ways:

  1. Survey to Understand Needs. Survey your entire workforce to understand what worked and what didn’t during the pandemic. It should include questions specific to caregiving needs: What was the biggest challenge with managing work and caregiving obligations? Did your supervisor do anything that helped manage work and caregiving obligations? What additional resources would help you manage caregiving needs in the future?
  2. Create a Reason-Neutral Process for Remote Work. We strongly encourage organizations to allow employees to continue working remotely during this hybrid stage on a reason-neutral basis. This shows organizational support for employees during this time of continued uncertainty (lack of childcare/eldercare; vulnerability of elderly relatives; anxiety over getting sick; public transportation exposure, etc.). For caregivers, the ability to work remotely is crucial to maintaining work and personal obligations.

Continue Reading in the Member Resource Center

To read this entire Action Step become a member of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.  To learn more about how your organization can demonstrate its support of working parents and caregivers, schedule a call with Manar Morales today. 

This article by Manar Morales, President & CEO of the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance was published in Law360’s Expert Analysis column on July 15, 2020.

As states begin to lift restrictions and people emerge from the shutdown, law firms are developing their strategies for reopening offices after weeks of remote working.

Many firms will find that it’s not as simple as it sounds, and there are countless intricacies to consider before employees return. While most firms will focus on ensuring physical spaces are as safe as possible, it’s equally important to consider the impact reopening decisions will have on your firm’s culture of inclusivity moving forward.

Firms will clearly focus on safety measures such as social distancing guidelines, the use of masks and gloves, plexiglass dividers, temperature checks, bathroom and cafeteria limits, and frequent sanitization. Additionally, many offices will choose to bring employees back in phases or have them alternate days in the office. However, even with all the protective measures in place, experts agree that nowhere will be 100% safe from the virus until there is a vaccine or cure.

Consequently, firm leaders are facing extremely difficult decisions regarding how and when to reopen the office and who should return. When contemplating these significant questions, firms should consider the following tips to maintain fairness and support a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion.

Continue Reading on LAW360.com here.