The postponement gives ample time for workers who respond to new demands to get fully vaccinated. And it gives companies more time to establish the logistics that accompany vaccination mandates, such as processes for tracking the vaccination status and, soon, who has received a booster.
“In a company, a CEO can say, ‘Our company, our culture, our business. We have to be together, we have to be in the office, that’s the date, ‘”said Mary Kay O’Neill, Senior Health Consultant at Mercer Consulting Group. “And then our friends in HR ask themselves: ‘How should we do this?'”
For some organizations, negotiations with trade unions also play a role. An NPR spokeswoman, who has not set a return date, said the public broadcaster is “working with key stakeholders, including our unions, to deliver the best approaches to keep our employees safe and our operations going evaluate “.
Given the new logistics surrounding vaccine mandates, ongoing uncertainty about variants, and increasing demands from employees, some companies, including The New York Times and American Airlines, have decided against setting return dates.
In addition to sectors such as consulting and media, the agility of technology companies is unique in many ways. CVS Health is still aiming for declining ROI, albeit with a degree of flexibility. And many employees never went home at all – with a majority of employees from companies like General Motors, Ford Motor, and Chevron working on site most of the time during the pandemic.
Many companies that have sent employees home continue to strive to bring them back. The longer workers stay away from the office, the more difficult it can be to persuade them to return. And real estate costs are hard to justify when offices are empty.
In finance, which traditionally relies on personal training and a hectic pace, prominent companies have turned office recruiting into a recruiting tool. Goldman Sachs brought its employees back in June and JPMorgan Chase in July. The rise of the Delta variant did not slow down those plans, but it appears to have accelerated measures to prevent the virus from spreading. Goldman said last month that anyone entering its US offices, including customers, must be fully vaccinated.