I work in a closed office that opens up into a public suite. This space is shared by three different units, reporting to three different parts of the organization. Our HR has said that everybody has to wear a mask, at all times, unless alone in a closed office or while actively eating or drinking.
EVERY time I leave my office to go anywhere, I have to go through the open area, where mask should be worn. And EVERY time I go through there, the two guys who work in that space have no mask on.
These are nice enough guys and I have no other problems with them, though I don't know them well. Their work is very different from mine, there is no overlap between what I do and what they do. I don't think it is my place to reprimand somebody not on my team. I am friendly with their boss, who used to report to me, so I brought it up with him. He said this would change, but it hasn't. It's a little better (but not perfect) when he is around (only a couple days a week lately).
I've sent email to HR and they responded by simply reiterating the policy.
In addition to me, one of my reports works in the suite; and one person from a third area (who is never there). But my reports who have offices elsewhere are in & out of the suite all day too, and we get foot traffic too.
I am at a loss what to do about this.If anybody has any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.
so, HR won't interfere? it just comes down to - who's responsible for enforcement. Someone with this authority should be doing walkthroughs periodically. Tricky situation.
Jamie, thanks for your thoughts.
Our HR was decimated in layoffs last year and I don't think they have the personnel to do walkthroughs. Up until a couple of weeks ago, only unvaccinated folks needed to mask and it was expected that supervisors would ensure this happen (only HR and immediate supervisors knew who was supposed to mask). Now that everybody is supposed to mask - which I thoroughly approve btw - I guess it's still supervisors. The problem is that not everybody's boss works in the same physical location as their teams.
What is going on in other workplaces? Are people masking up? Is there some sort of compliance mechanism set up? Or are most of you lucky enough to still be working at home? I know a lot of people on here work independently so none of this applies, just curious how other workplaces are handling it.
Seems like its uneven everywhere you go. Despite the clear uptick in breakthrough cases, I guess some vaxed people think they are invincible and the hardcore anti-vax crowd is against safety measures across the board.
I won't name the place but I went to a Maplewood store a few days ago where the owners were masked but the guy servicing me was not and he was kind of in my (masked) face most of the time. It really shocks me that people who work in stores/restaurants, where they are trapped and subject to a steady stream of customers, go unmasked.
Mask compliance seems uneven at best. I ate out last evening with family members at a restaurant in Bergen County near one family member's office. There was no outdoor dining option available. The server did not wear a face covering even though we had a child under 12 in our party. Customers were walking in and out without face coverings. It will be a long time before I agree to go there again.
To the OP's question, mask compliance seems very difficult to maintain unless it is consistently enforced by someone in authority. I noticed a similar problem in a town building this week. Despite the mask mandate in town-owned buildings, a town employee entered the building and refused to wear a face covering when asked to do so. Disposable face coverings were available on a table near the entrance so not having a face covering with him/her was not the issue. Gaining compliance with mask mandates is a work in progress.
Mask compliance sucks.
Regarding the original post, how far do you want to push it at work?
yahooyahoo said:Mask compliance sucks. Regarding the original post, how far do you want to push it at work?
Not sure at this point. I have a family member with a high risk condition. So I care about risk of being there all day with somebody not masking. But I don't want to be the pain the axx either.
I don't like being put in this position where I have to choose being a pain or putting my family at risk.
Send HR a request for an accommodation for working remotely due to lack of mask compliance in the office, which results in an unsafe work environment?
Not sure that's an option for you.
I feel so fortunate - my work never did away with mask-wearing, so no one got used to being without.
HatsOff said: I am friendly with their boss, who used to report to me, so I brought it up with him. He said this would change, but it hasn't. It's a little better (but not perfect) when he is around (only a couple days a week lately). [snip]In addition to me, one of my reports works in the suite; and one person from a third area (who is never there). But my reports who have offices elsewhere are in & out of the suite all day too, and we get foot traffic too.
I am friendly with their boss, who used to report to me, so I brought it up with him. He said this would change, but it hasn't. It's a little better (but not perfect) when he is around (only a couple days a week lately).
These are your reports that are at risk? Since HR is not effective, are you able to assert your authority and be more protective of your team members? Or is that just not done at your place? You used to supervise their boss so maybe you can reiterate the situation. I would totally go for it. Carrying a baseball bat when you do speak to them would be good, too. Okay, that last part was a joke. A defenseman's lacrosse stick would be better since it has more reach. Social distancing and all, ya know. Sorry to be making jokes but I understand your concerns. I'd be frustrated like you are, especially after two different people from the company who should be able to put a stop to it are not stepping up.
Thanks for all the input. My report is also going to discuss with the makless-pair's boss (they are former co-workers and still friendly). She is also going to ask HR. We don't expect much to come of it. The boss first denied this could be happening, then said it would change which it did (sort of) while he is around, I.e. they put the mask loops over their ears and put a drink in front of them. When he goes by they take a sip. When he isn't there they make no pretense of wearing a mask.
My nuclear option is to bring it up to my boss and tell her I want to work from home until I can have a guarantee of a reasonably safe office to work in. My division has been told to fully return to the office, no exceptions. The other group in my office is in a different division where management (the maskless-pair's boss) can work hybrid. He is only in the office 2 or 3 days a week. His guys do work that cannot be done remotely. IMO their boss should be fully on-site too to supervise them but that is not my call.
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