Update to Our Workplace Update: Who’s Opening and Who’s Not?

Update to Our Workplace Update: Who’s Opening and Who’s Not?

By Tricia O'Connor

In our latest episode of EBI’s Screening News Network, Jennifer Gladstone highlighted how some enterprise organizations are weighing whether to return to the workplace. It got us thinking about a story we initially ran this past spring breaking down how organizations were considering that same question.

At that time, this report indicated roughly 40% of employers that shifted to remote work at the start of the pandemic were planning to have their workers return to the office by the beginning of April. But this Pew Research Center survey showed more than half of employees said they would want to keep working from home even after the pandemic.

Well, gosh, has a lot changed since then. For one, the Delta variant has ensured the pandemic is still happening, even though the hope was that it would go away. Vaccines, loosening state guidelines, and more readily available COVID-19 tests have also all played a role in decision-making, as has a growing body of vocal American workers who now firmly prefer working from home.  

So, what are big companies doing now about returning to the office? Here’s an update to our original workplace update.

Technology

Alphabet (Google)– Google has pushed back its return-to-office plan from mid-October to January 10th, and all employees who come back to the workplace must be vaccinated.

Facebook – The social media giant says U.S. workers and some international employees will not return to the workplace until January 2022. Facebook had previously announced in May 2020 a permanent work-from-home policy, but employees need to make that choice and may suffer a pay cut depending on where they live.

Apple – Employees will not need to return to the workplace until January 2022. Apple encourages employees to get vaccinated, but it is not mandated.

Twitter – Twitter employees can choose to work from home indefinitely. The social media powerhouse has closed its San Francisco and New York City offices and has postponed other reopening plans.

Microsoft – Microsoft initially banked on a “hybrid workplace” to promote flexible working, but has delayed reopening its U.S. offices indefinitely. Proof of vaccination will be required for all employees, vendors, and guests to enter offices when they do reopen.

Retail

Amazon – The retail tech behemoth said it will allow employees to continue working from home until January 2022. Employees are encouraged to get vaccinated, but there are no mandates in place.

WalmartVaccines are required for employees at its headquarters and for managers who travel store to store. The mandate does not apply to employees in stores, clubs, and supply chain facilities.

TJX – TJX, which owns T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and others, will reopen its formal headquarter on November 1st. Employees working in the office need to be vaccinated by that time, but those working in their stores and distribution centers are not required to be vaccinated.

Target – Corporate employees won’t have to return to the workplace until the new year. A small portion of workers who need to work in the headquarters can come back, but only common areas like cafeterias and conferences rooms will be open.

CVS– Pharmacists are required to be vaccinated by November 30 while other team members who interact with patients and all corporate staff need to be vaccinated by Halloween.

Finance

Goldman Sachs– The investment bank requires anyone who enters its workplace to be vaccinated. This includes employees, clients, and visitors. Any person who isn’t vaccinated is expected to work from home.

J.P. Morgan Chase– The bank recalled employees to the workplace in July 2021. Employees are encouraged to get vaccinated, but there is no mandate in place.

Wells Fargo – Remote employees will return to the workplace starting November 1st. Vaccinations are encouraged, but not mandated at this time.

Other Sectors

Amtrak– Starting in October, new hires must have proof of vaccination, and by November, employees must be fully vaccinated or submit a weekly COVID-19 test.

Ford Motor Company – Vaccines are required for employees who travel internationally. All other workers are encouraged to get inoculated.

UPS– Ahead of its massive seasonal hiring effort, UPS employees are back to the workplace. All office-based employees must be inoculated by Oct. 1st, and all other workers in all other locations are encouraged to get the vaccine.

Future Proof Your Company

COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in 2020. After dipping to the 8th leading cause of death in early 2021, the virus came back to claim the 3rd spot again this past August.

Data from the Mayo Clinic shows just over 55% of the U.S. population eligible for the vaccine have been completely inoculated.

As companies continue to adjust their reopening plans, EBI continues to evolve our suite of services. It’s part of our promise to you to deliver safer and smarter screening solutions.

EBI has partnered with CRL Rapid Response™ to offer COVID-19 self-collected testing kits to help get employees safely back to the workplace. Our COVID-19 Kit includes collection materials necessary for a COVID RAPID RESPONSE test – a saliva-based molecular test, authorized by the FDA under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), that can be self-collected and shipped to our labs. Test results can confirm if the virus is detected in a person’s saliva.

For more information on our COVID-19 testing kits, please reach out to one of our team members.

Workplace Health & Safety

About the Author

Tricia O'Connor

Tricia O'Connor

Writer. Digital marketer. Storyteller. An award-winning writer and editor, Tricia O'Connor is the Marketing Content Manager at EBI. Tricia worked as a broadcast and print journalist for nearly two decades writing and producing programming for high-profile networks like ESPN Radio, History Channel, and Hallmark Channel, as well as contributing editorial work to publications nationwide. Tricia joined the EBI marketing team in 2019 and is responsible for content strategy, development, and engagement. Tricia earned a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and is a proud undergraduate alumna of Wheaton College in Massachusetts.

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