As of Thursday, Facebook Inc. has announced that it is delaying its return to office date for US employees to January 2022. The date is also being pushed back for staff members in some other select countries as well, as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus continues to wreck havoc thanks to increasing rates of infection.
Data Matters, Not Dates
Issuing a statement to the effect, the social media giant has its approach for returning to in-office work is driven by “data, not dates.” It has also informed employees that staff members living and working in the US, as well as in some other countries, won’t be required to return to the office until January next year, as opposed to the initial plans of coming back by October. Experts will continue to monitor the situation in the meanwhile.
With this, Facebook joins the ever-growing list of tech companies that are delaying their plans of returning to the office to next year. Just last week, Amazon had announced a similar change to its own timeline, while Lyft last month said that its offices won’t be seeing a complete return of employees until February next year.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has still kept its earliest date for full reopening of US-based facilities at October 4, instead of pushing it back to next year. Google has announced that unvaccinated employees be barred from entering its campuses, and has also extended its global work-from-home facility till October 18. Twitter too, has shut all its offices that were operational in the US, as cases continue to surge thanks to the variant.
Masks And Vaccinations Making Some Frown
Facebook has also informed its employees that it will give them a heads up well in advance before they are expected to return to office. Additionally, the company, much like Google and Microsoft, requires its staff to get vaccinated against the COVID before they can come back to the office. Masks will also be mandatory, whether or not they are vaccinated.
However, this vaccination clause seems to not be sitting well with many critics and workers unions, who have argued that employees should be given the freedom to decide whether or not they would like to take the jab. At the same time though, one cannot ignore the fact that the US is still continuing to see the highest number of cases and deaths, which stand at 36,305,005 and 619,098, respectively. So it does explain why companies are becoming more and more paranoid as regards to infections.