Leaked memo reveals NBA's return-to-work plan that calls for remote staff to be back by September

  • The NBA sent a detailed back-to-work plan that calls for remote workers to return starting in September.
  • The league wants employees to be back in the office regularly starting October 4.
  • The NBA also said it would accommodate people with childcare, holiday, or other situations that prevent them from returning.
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The NBA sent staff a detailed back to work plan for its New York and New Jersey offices this week, according to an email obtained by Insider.

The league which has been among the most COVID-safe organizations in the US, told staff who are remote that they should return from remote locales so offices can begin returning to normal. The office has been open since July 2020, according to the company. 

“While many of us have adjusted to working from home, we believe there are significant advantages to being back in the office and collaborating in-person with each another,” read the memo sent to staff on Tuesday. “Your health and safety remain paramount and we will continue to monitor pandemic developments, work closely with our expert advisors, follow local and state requirements, and adjust the following plans as necessary.”

In a return to work plans that’s more detailed than many, the league said it wants staff in New York and New Jersey back on September 7 at least three days a week, or two days a week if government guidelines don’t allow for 100 percent occupancy by September 7, according to the email.

The league said that people observing Rosh Hashanah or have childcare responsibilities that week with many school closed could return September 13. The league went on to say that people with circumstances that make it difficult to work on site starting September 7 could work remotely through October 1. 

“However, we expect all employees to be regularly in the office starting October 4, including employees who may have temporarily moved out of the area or who have been hired during the pandemic and have not yet relocated to the area,” the email continued.

The NBA also suggests staff start to come back to the office before the fall if staff feel comfortable doing so, to “help your readjustment back to the office environment.” The league added it would work with staff who have health conditions or other issues that prevent them from returning.

The league’s commissioner Adam Silver said he expected a normal, 82-game season to begin in fall. The league created strict isolation bubbles to try to avoid players contracting the virus. 

Michael Bass, a spokesperson for the NBA, said: “Our offices have been open since July 2020. In preparation for our workforce returning to full operation in the fall, we continue to monitor pandemic developments, adhere to local and state requirements and follow the guidance of our medical experts, and shared plans this week with our colleagues, whose health and safety remain our top priority.”

Across other industries, plans for returning to the office vary. Many ad agencies like WPP and Omnicom and media companies are rethinking work schedules and offices with hybrid workers in mind. Tech companies’ plans vary, with some adopting a hybrid model while others have said employees never need to return to the office. 

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