September 29, 2022

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Business is my step

Some CEO’s make plans to return staff to the office

9 min read

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CEOs were asked: When do you anticipate returning your full staff to your office? What factors are you considering in this decision?

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CEOs were asked: When do you anticipate returning your full staff to your office? What factors are you considering in this decision?==

Fortunately, I am happy to say, we didn’t have any layoffs. I think that the models have changed due to COVID-19. I started using technologies such as Zoom for staff and client meetings. I found it to be very efficient; I will not be returning to a brick and mortar.

Dexter Bridgeman, CEO, founder, M•I•A Media Group

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Fortunately, we have been fully capable of meeting our clients’ needs working remotely. Even so, our attorneys and support staff have been coming to the office from time to time as may be necessary to provide the service our clients have come to expect. I expect our full staff will return once vaccines are readily available, hopefully in the spring of 2021.

Luis Flores, managing partner, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s Miami office

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We are fortunate to have larger facilities. Prior to COVID-19, one would rightfully say that we had ‘wasted valuable real estate’. That has served us well by allowing safe social distancing among our team members. We have PPE for all of our team members, including acrylic barriers at all of our work stations. As a community bank committed to personal and concierge service, we feel it important to have team members on site. That being said, we do limit client traffic coming into our facilities. Security team members record visitors for contact tracing purposes and we take temperatures of all visitors, as well as visually screen them for cold or flu symptoms. We have had no work-based infections. We have had an average of 70 percent of our team members on site throughout the pandemic; we issued laptops and security equipment to allow many staff members to work form home in a secure environment.

Veronica Flores, executive vice president, First National Bank of South Miami

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No one has a crystal ball to tell them when it will be completely safe for us to return to the work-style and lifestyle as it was pre-COVID. The biggest consideration is, of course, the safety and health of our staff. Only when it is safe to do so will we have our staff return to our office. We can only be vigilant and follow the guidelines and protocols set by the CDC, Department of Health and local and state government officials. Currently, a few employees are in the office to fulfill our online orders and handle customer service, and we continue to work with our local research partners to deploy satellite tracking tags on sharks and billfish to keep much of our scientific program on schedule. We do look forward to 2021 and the day when we can somewhat return to normal.

Guy Harvey, founder, Guy Harvey Enterprises

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We have most of our office and back office staff back, while also providing flexibility and at-home work options as appropriate. Over the years, our Realtors have been provided the necessary technology and training to do their jobs from home or in the field. They continue to meet with their customers as needed.

Mike Pappas, president, CEO, The Keyes Company/Illustrated Properties

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We continue to work closely with our team members regarding in-person staffing of our office. We do not anticipate returning to a full staff in our office until after the new year. We remain vigilant in assuring that we are following CDC guidelines, especially now that the positive rate in Miami-Dade County has increased significantly and a surge of new cases is projected following the holidays.

Coralee Penabad, principal, Urban-X Group

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As an essential business, our branch location staff has been reporting to work unabated during the pandemic. We returned staff to our HQ location on Oct. 12, on an A/B Team hybrid (half a department works remote/half in-person, alternating every two weeks) which has worked very well. I would anticipate a return to normal at HQ in Q2 next year. Some of the factors in determining the timing of that will be CDC guidance on back to work readiness, virus statistics indicating prevalence, vaccine roll-out statistics, advances in therapeutics and hospital capacity.

Allan Prindle, president, CEO, Power Financial Credit Union

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YWCA will not return to full staff until it is safe to do so. We do not act alone — we’re a partner in a collective of decision-makers constantly listening and examining how and when we make the next step to keep us all safe. Our work is interconnected with schools and essential industries, so there must be sufficient immunity and treatment capacity across the region to allow our team, and the community’s teams, to feel safe.

Kerry-Ann Royes, CEO, YWCA South Florida

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We have been working in the gallery almost the entire time — except for the lockdown period.

Mindy Solomon, owner, director, Mindy Solomon Gallery

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Yes, I do anticipate that our full staff will return to the office once the pandemic is fully under control and it’s deemed safe to do so. The main factor will be the availability of the vaccine for our staff and a substantially declined infection rate. Working remotely in our business sector has been difficult and certainly less efficient for our team.

Frank Steslow, president, CEO, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

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THE MIAMI HERALD CEO ROUNDTABLE IS A WEEKLY FEATURE THAT APPEARS IN BUSINESS MONDAY OF THE MIAMI HERALD. RECENT QUESTIONS TO THE ROUNDTABLE HAVE INCLUDED:

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