Amazon Delays Office Return Until 2022

Image credit: Amazon

E-commerce giant Amazon becomes latest tech giant to delay staff returning to the office or campus, with offices only reopening in 2022

Amazon has confirmed a surprising delay for its staff to return to the corporate office or campus.

The e-commerce giant cited the surge in Covid-19 cases in the US from the Delta variant, for pushing back the office return date until the new year.

Indeed, unlike many big name tech rivals that have delayed staff returns until early October, Amazon has gone one step further and confirmed that office staff can only return by 3 January 2022.

Image credit: Amazon
Image credit: Amazon

Delayed return

Amazon staff had been expected to return to its offices on 7 September, but the e-commerce giant has confirmed to CNN that this has been pushed back until 2022.

When Amazon staff do return, they will be required to wear masks inside the office unless they have shown proof they are vaccinated, the company added.

The change comes after Amazon seems to be easing restrictions in its warehouses.

Last month for example it ended its on-site testing of US warehouse workers for Coronavirus on 30 July, despite ongoing infections in the United States.

In late May, Amazon also said that it would lift its mask mandate for fully vaccinated warehouse staff.

Amazon it should be remembered built its own Coronavirus testing labs to monitor the health of its staff back in April 2020, when the pandemic began raging around the world.

It also introduced many protection measures for staff during the pandemic, but that did not prevent nearly 20,000 staff being infected by Covid-19 as Q3 last year.

Last week Amazon admitted that its pandemic sales surge seems to be weakening, after it said that people are “doing things besides shopping”, when it posted weaker than expected revenues.

Tech industry

There are marked differences in the tech industry about what protective measures staff have to employ when they return to the office, but most big name tech firms have delayed office returns until October, after having originally set September as the return date.

Earlier this week Facebook said it will require all its US staff returning to the office or campus when they fully reopen in October, to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccine status.

Last week both Facebook and Google had announced they will require their staff to be vaccinated, when they return to offices or campuses in October.

Facebook will allow employees to work remotely full time and relocate, but those employees may have their compensation adjusted based on their new locations.

This gives some staff the option to relocate to US states where the cost of housing is more reasonable than it is in California.

Apple meanwhile has announced it would delay its reopening until at least October, a month later than initially planned, because of the Delta variant.

And it still requires staff and customers to wear masks in its stores.

Uber this week has mandated all of its US office staff have to be vaccinated against the Coronavirus before returning to the office later this year. But it said it is up to the government to push people such as its drivers to get vaccinated.

Its rival Lyft meanwhile has indicated that most of its US offices will only reopen on 2 February 2022.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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