Other large companies, including Amazon, BlackRock and Wells Fargo, announced on Thursday that they would postpone their plans to return to the office as the spread of the Delta variant is driving the number of coronavirus cases up.
Amazon took the biggest step, telling its employees they didn’t have to return to their offices until January 3, and postponing a deadline set for early September.
The company said in the spring that it wanted to keep its “office-centric” culture, but later took a more hybrid approach that is preferred by many employees.
The notice to employees did not indicate any changes to Amazon’s Vaccination Policy, which promotes but does not require vaccines, or its Mask Policy, which allows employees in both corporate offices and warehouses to unmask their masks when providing evidence of vaccination submit.
BlackRock, the world’s largest money manager, and Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the country, said in internal memos to U.S. employees that they would postpone their mandatory return plans from September to early October. Both attributed the changes to worrying new developments in the spread of Covid-19 in the United States.
“We are tracking the Delta variant in different parts of the country and are closely following the latest guidelines from health and local government agencies encouraging people to wear masks in indoor public spaces in areas with significant or high transmission,” said BlackRocks Chief Operating Officer, Rob Goldstein and other officials wrote in their memo to staff. “We know this raises concerns about going back to the office.”
To better accommodate workers, BlackRock said it would only allow vaccinated workers into its offices until October 1, and not until the original September 8 date in Atlanta and Washington, where local authorities are now requiring internal masks.
When BlackRock employees return to their offices in large numbers, the asset manager will implement a hybrid policy that allows employees to work three days a week in the office and two days away from the office.
At Wells Fargo, employees who work from home will be called back starting October 4th instead of September 7th, according to a memo to employees. Call center and operations staff are expected to come first, followed by corporate and support staff in November. The company said weeks ago that it would allow employees more flexibility to work in the office and remotely, unlike other banking giants who have called back employees earlier and in greater numbers.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments as necessary to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and customers,” Scott Powell, Wells Fargo’s chief operating officer, wrote in a memo to employees.
Both BlackRock and Wells Fargo encourage employees to get vaccinated.