Facebook Parent Allows Employees to Delay Return to Office

Facebook’s parent company FB 1.55%

said on Tuesday it would fully reopen its offices in the United States at the end of January, but give workers the option of delaying their planned return until June.

Meta-platforms Inc.

FB 1.55%

The new “office deferral program” is designed to give employees the flexibility to return to the office and determine how they work, a spokesperson said. The company previously offered most of its employees the opportunity to work remotely full time.

Meta’s move comes at a time when many companies are rethinking their plans to return to the office due to uncertainty over the Omicron variant and a slight increase in Covid-19 cases. Companies including Ford Motor Co.

and alphabet Inc.

Google has delayed required return-to-office dates in recent days, while others are pushing ahead with existing plans.

Many Meta offices in the United States, including its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Have reopened with limited capacity in recent months. The Office Deferral Program, available to employees in the United States and Canada, is for employees who want to delay returning to the office for three to five months, but do not want to opt for long-term remote work. .

Meta demands that everyone working in its US offices be vaccinated against Covid-19. The company had more than 68,100 full-time employees worldwide as of September 30, and about half of its workforce is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

“For those looking to return in January, we look forward to providing a vibrant office experience that continues to prioritize health and safety. We also recognize that some are not quite ready to come back, ”said Janelle Gale, vice president of human resources at Meta.

Lyft Rideshare Company Inc.

also said on Tuesday he was adjusting his plans and would no longer require his staff to return to the office in February. The offices are open for those who wish to work there, the company said, although employees have the option of continuing to work remotely throughout the next year.

Across industries, business executives have been debating for months how to handle return-to-office delays, and the new variant has added uncertainty to those plans. The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.

had scheduled its top executives to return to its Connecticut office on Monday, but said last week those employees would stay away for now as a precaution as scientists scramble to understand the transmissibility of the variant and the effectiveness of the vaccine. A spokesperson said the company will set a new date for the return of top executives and move forward with plans to bring employees back to the office on January 18.

Dell Technologies Inc.

told employees last week that she planned to start reopening her remaining offices after Jan.4. In a note to employees, Jenn Saavedra, Dell’s human resources manager, said the company continues to monitor the variant and added that it still plans to offer working arrangements. “Those whose work permits – and who choose to do so – can continue to work virtually,” Saavedra said in the note. “And as we move forward, we know that one approach won’t work for everyone. “

Remote work, hybrid work and the new office

Write to Chip cutter at [email protected]

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Appeared in the December 8, 2021 print edition as “Meta to reopen US offices next month.”

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