Link To Guest Website: Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers
Title: “Issues Surrounding In-Office vs Remote Employment”
Guest: Mark Furman – Tarlow Breed Hart & Rodgers
Interviewer: Jeffrey Davis – MAGE LLC
Click here to read the transcript
Hello, everybody out there in entrepreneur land. And my name is Jeffrey Davis, and this is radio entrepreneurs and we continue to stream stories of business entrepreneurship, and how people are adapting to this chaotic economy. That’s in constant flux. And every week we like to speak with Mark Furman, partner at Tarlow, Breed, Hart, and Rodgers it’s entrepreneurship and the law and Mark Furman. Welcome mark.
Hi Jeffrey. Great to be with you.
Nice to be with you to mark the rules change every week don’t they?
They sure do. You know, I was on two flights in the last 10 days and the first flight, the mass mandate was in effect. And then on the return trip, the, the Florida judge had issued an injunction against the Biden administrations, mass mandate on airline and railroad transportation. So, you know, you may have seen some of the new, new stories where people on the plane were chairing the lifting of the mass mandate.
Mark (1m 14s):
So by comparison, I would say 90% of passengers on the way my first flight wore masks. You know, you always have some people that wear it under the nodes and some people under the chin, but most everybody had a mask on, on the flight back, very few people mass. So it’s, you know, now voluntary on airplanes and planes and the Biden administration has appealed the decision. It’s a nationwide injunction that got issued.
Mark (1m 56s):
So we’ll see what happened there. But I think, you know, we’re at that stage now in the COVID era where it’s always just total confusion for what business owners should, can and should do. And, but I think the, you know, private companies have a right to set their own rules as long as they’re not discriminatory in some fashion discriminatory against a religion or discriminatory based upon a medical condition.
Mark (2m 37s):
But, you know, I think the CDC is still feeling like on these kind of confined places. People should wear a mask, but, you know, we have this strong history in our country of individual freedom, individual choice, and that’s, you know, that’s a strongly held view. You know, we have these protestors in front of the mayor’s house here in Boston, you know, because of mandates that existed in Massachusetts, but clearly we’re reaching the point where the mandates are going away in this country.
Mark (3m 24s):
And with rare exceptions, you know, Philadelphia implemented one not long ago for a brief period of time, but in general, the trend is towards individual choice. And that means for businesses, you know, perhaps there was a little bit of a, it made it easy when the government had mandates in effect to decide what to do. But I think now it’s really up to each company to decide what’s best. And I, I think certainly the airline industry is thrilled that the mass mandates have been lists lifted.
Mark (4m 11s):
I think they think people will be more inclined to travel. Plus it’s huge symbolism that the worst of COVID is behind us, even though they there’s plenty of COVID out there still, but you know, the world is different because so many people are vaccinated and in many cases booster. And although it’s apparent that there’s, that doesn’t give one a hundred percent immunity by any means from getting COVID a lot of the worst effects from COVID seem to be diminished for folks who have been vaccinated.
Mark (4m 58s):
So, you know, I worry about the babies. I was traveling with a baby who is a year old and certainly not vaccinated or able to exercise choice whether to wear a mask or not because too little. So anyway, that was my most recent experience, but the legal issues around COVID just continue in the employment area, the, and now whether there should be back to work mandates, how frequently people should be required to go back in to their places of business.
Mark (5m 46s):
How to what extent is remote work here to stay? We at my firm continued to not have a requirement as to folks coming back into the office, work from where you can be most productive. And we have not seen a diminished productivity from, from that stance for us, but a lot of law firms and a lot of businesses. And now back to work one day a week, two days a week, three days a week, and in some cases every day. So,
Jeffrey (6m 27s):
You know, what I find tough mark is that you sort of said it, your firm is flexible and other firm is not flexible. It’s definitely a recruiting market for it. So it’s an employer, employees market. They can move around more freely. There’s, there’s a lot of opportunity out there for employees to increase their compensation. And you know, when you’re working in one company and you see a separate, separate set of rules in another company, I think it creates a lot of, you know, issues for people. You know, how come we have to do it this way. The other company has done it this way when there’s not one consistent standard across the board. I think it makes it tough for employers because since we’re all recruiting and we want a proper culture, culture, beats strategy, you know, we start thinking, well, let’s do, what’s gonna make people happy.
Jeffrey (7m 16s):
Maybe not do what’s best for the business,
Mark (7m 21s):
Right? And I think what’s best for people differs based upon their situation for someone who’s an empty nester and can replicate the, my work space in the office at home, frankly, wherever I am. It’s, it’s not that hard for me. It’s actually, you know, saved an hour and a half or two hours a day of commuting time. But for folks whose home environment doesn’t allow them to work efficiently, you know, those folks are in the office every day.
Mark (8m 7s):
They can be, excuse me. They, because being productive at, at, at home is very hard for some people. So, but you know, we had a, you know, a little get together for someone who’s getting married this weekend and it would have been nice if everybody could have been there in person to celebrate this wonderful event coming up and, you know, you lose something by not being together, you know, but we’re trying to, you know, we’re trying to have social events that bring everybody together where becoming regular regulars at a certain winery that somebody we know is a part owner and where we, we have get togethers and we’ve had just magicians and, you know, things like that to try to keep the connectivity of the people together.
Mark (9m 28s):
So nothing’s perfect. It’s, you know, and it’s all trial and error, as, you know, as you try to figure out what the right thing to do, and it’s not one size fits all, I’m hoping is a little bit of an opportunity to, with a little more flexibility to recruit. And it broadens the geographic region from which, from where you can recruit people. Now, you know, you may have, you know, compensation in Boston may be much higher or in some more rural place, but if someone is talented and has the ability to work remotely may create a opportunity.
Mark (10m 18s):
We’ll say we could change the rule next month, Jeffrey, you know, we’re just, we’re trying to figure it out like everybody else.
Jeffrey (10m 27s):
Well, like Philadelphia, things could just change overnight. You just never know it could change that quickly. And I think employees and employers have to be prepared for that. I think it’s all very important. And again, as I said, I think we’re all managing through chaos right now and trying to create stable cultures despite what’s going on. And I think you put your finger on, you know, a big part of what’s going on. And there are a lot of factors affecting the economy, including inflation and supply chain war that are affecting everybody. But if somebody is looking to find out more information about how to deal with this economy and find you a Tarlow breed, heart and Rogers, how would they connect with you?
Mark (11m 4s):
I can be reached at M Ferman, F U R M a firstname.lastname@example.org or my telephone line (617) 218-2025.
Jeffrey (11m 21s):
Thank you very much for remind everybody. This was mark Fermin, Carla Braveheart and Rogers. And this is radio.
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