Meta offers a postponement program for employees who do not want to return


A worker picks up trash in front of a new logo and the name “Meta” on the sign outside Facebook headquarters on October 28, 2021 in Menlo Park, California.

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Meta, formerly Facebook, has announced that it will fully reopen its U.S. offices on Jan. 31, giving employees the option to postpone their return to the office for three to five months.

The social media giant said Tuesday the “office delay program” is designed to give employees flexibility when they return to the office.

In August, Meta said it intends to postpone its plan to bring U.S. employees back to their office until January 2022 due to ongoing concerns about Covid-19.

Janelle Gale, vice president of human resources at Meta, said in a statement that Meta recognizes that some employees are unwilling to return.

“For those looking to return in January, we look forward to delivering a vibrant office experience where health and safety remain a priority,” said Gale.

“We also know that some are not quite ready to come back just yet,” she added. “We continue to offer a variety of options to choose what works best for them so our employees can make informed decisions about their workplace.”

Meta said certain employees will be able to work remotely full-time if they are able to do their jobs away from the office.

“Data, not data, drives our approach to getting back to the office,” the company said.

Adaptation to new variants

Companies around the world are being forced to rethink their return to work strategies as Omicron’s Covid-19 variant continues to spread rapidly.

Google said last week that it has indefinitely postponed its plan to return to the office in January globally.

The company’s security vice, Chris Rackow, wrote in the email to the full-time employees that they would wait until the New Year to assess when the US offices can safely return to a “stable, long-term work environment.” None of the US locations will take over the hybrid work mandate on January 10th as planned, it says in his email.

Meta had previously sought to bring employees back to their offices in October with strict vaccination and masking requirements, but those plans were discarded.

– Additional coverage from CNBC’s Jennifer Elias.