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COVID-19 cases push Amazon to delay office return to 2022

This comes after Google’s parent company extended its work from home policy to mid-October.

Allie Nawrat

COVID-19
Credit: isunwater via Twenty20.

Unleash Your Curiosity What does the future hold for the office in post-COVID-19 times?

COVID-19 cases in the US are still surging – primarily linked with the Delta variant that originated in India.

According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 12,836 cases on 4 July, but this has risen significantly to 92,282 on the 4 August, the last day data is available.

Therefore, some companies have decided to push back their original re-opening plans by a month to October.

Recent examples include Wells Fargo, BlackRock and Google’s parent company Alphabet.

Wells Fargo told employees in a memo, seen by the New York Times, “we will continue to monitor the situation and make further adjustments if required to prioritize the health and safety of our employees and customers.”

Alphabet decided to extend its working from home policy until October. But it also revealed how many working from home and relocation requests it has approved for its employees.

According to The Information, Alphabet has okayed 85% of requests to work from home or relocate. The denied requests for those whose roles required specific equipment only available in particular equipment or groups where Alphabet wants to prioritize in-person interactions.

However, Amazon has announced that the COVID-19 surge means they will be pushing their plans back until January 2022.

In a statement seen by Reuters, Amazon said: “As we continue to closely watch local conditions related to COVID-19, we are adjusting our guidance for corporate employees.” This guidance is not

A spokesperson also told Reuters that this was because employees’ health was Amazon’s top priority, and emphasized that employees will be required to wear face masks in the office and the warehouses unless they can demonstrate they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, Amazon doesn’t seem to have followed in the footsteps of other big tech companies, including Google and Facebook, and retailers like Walmart in mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for staff.

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