Douglas Elliman sends NYC employees home as Omicron surges

Vaccinated agents still permitted to use offices; other city brokerages monitoring case surge

New York /
Dec.December 21, 2021 06:15 PM

Should employees stay, or should they go home? A surge in Covid cases in NYC has brokerages on edge. (iStock/Photo-Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)

The surge of new Covid cases across the city driven by the Omicron variant has brokerages on edge.

Douglas Elliman’s New York City employees must work from home until at least Jan. 3, president Richard Ferrari informed staff in a memo last week.

“Employees will work from home while we monitor the situation and devise a return-to-office plan informed by CDC and state and city guidelines,” a Douglas Elliman spokesperson said.

The policy applies to those who work in marketing, IT and other administrative services for the brokerage. Agents will still be allowed to use their offices as needed, as long as they are vaccinated and wear masks.

The announcement was a direct response to the rapid rate of new infections in the city. An average of more than 8,000 new cases per day have been reported in the last week, according to data compiled by the New York Times, a 277 percent spike from two weeks ago.

Other brokerages have been eyeing the rise in infections, but have yet to send employees back home.

At Compass, both agents and employees are still using a hybrid work model, a spokesperson said. Any adjustments in the near future would be made on a location-by-location basis, rather than nationwide.

Keller Williams echoed that sentiment, with no anticipated closings just yet, though spokesperson Darryl Frost said the brokerage is closely monitoring updates surrounding the variant and will continue to follow state, local and federal guidelines regarding Covid safety measures.

Brown Harris Stevens canceled its vaccinated-only Dec. 15 holiday party, but the brokerage’s offices remain open. Some managers have opted to use staggered scheduling for staff over the holidays, a decision the brokerage supports.

“As always, anyone who feels the need to work from home is encouraged to discuss the matter with their supervisors,” said BHS spokesperson Ashley Murphy.





    Related Articles

    arrow_forward_ios
    John Giannone and Jac Credaroli (Credit: iStock)
    Two Elliman agents launch platform to provide renters, buyers and sellers up to $50K in unsecured loans
    Two Elliman agents launch platform to provide renters, buyers and sellers up to $50K in unsecured loans
    Jacob Sudhoff and Scott Durkin (Credit: Sudhoff Companies, Emily Assiran, iStock)
    Douglas Elliman is coming to Texas
    Douglas Elliman is coming to Texas
    Douglas Elliman chairman Howard Lorber (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)
    Elliman’s revenue rose 18%, after sales frenzy to avoid New York’s new transfer tax
    Elliman’s revenue rose 18%, after sales frenzy to avoid New York’s new transfer tax
    Tamir Shemesh & Ryan Serhant (Getty Images, Serhant)
    Top broker Tamir Shemesh joining Serhant
    Top broker Tamir Shemesh joining Serhant
    (iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
    East End homebuyers face tightest market ever
    East End homebuyers face tightest market ever
    Vector Group/Douglas Elliman's Howard Lorber (iStock, Getty Images, Vector Group Ltd., Douglas Elliman)
    Howard Lorber’s $1.8M salary at Elliman offset by Vector pay cut
    Howard Lorber’s $1.8M salary at Elliman offset by Vector pay cut
    BHS CEO Bess Freedman and BHS agent Madison Sutton (BHS, iStock)
    Brown Harris Stevens adding TikTok training to its arsenal
    Brown Harris Stevens adding TikTok training to its arsenal
    From left: Mike Golden and Thad Wong, owners of @properties, and Bess Freedman, chief executive officer of Brown Harris Stevens (@properties, Brown Harris Stevens, iStock)
    @properties sells Christie’s NYC brokerage to Brown Harris Stevens
    @properties sells Christie’s NYC brokerage to Brown Harris Stevens
    arrow_forward_ios

    The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

    Loading...