Dear Liz,

I’m not happy about the date my company picked for my team to return to the office, and I’m not happy about the way the decision was made (or communicated).

For me it is the last straw. I was not in love with my job anyway and now I know I need to move on.

How do I ask a question on a [virtual] interview, “When does your company expect to bring people back to the office?” Because that is a major issue for me.

If I am going to work in an office before a vaccine is available, I want the environment to be extremely safe – social distancing, masks on everyone, etc.

I don’t have confidence that all or even most employers are going to be that careful, however.

What do you recommend?

Thanks,

Gary

Dear Gary,

You are likely to have all sorts of questions, from questions about the working hours to questions about compensation, benefit plans, your hiring manager’s preferred communication style and so on.

“When do you expect to bring employees back to the office?” is a perfectly reasonable question.

You deserve to have that answer before you accept a job offer.

Some companies have no plans yet to bring people back to work. They may keep their staffs working at home for months into the future.

If you have requirements in that regard, get them out on the table.

If you have a diagnosed health condition that requires you to take special precautions, mention it AFTER you accept the job offer.

Better to drop out of a recruiting pipeline than to stay in it if changing jobs would only move you out of the frying pan and into the fire.

All the best to you,

Liz