Meta To Allow Staff To Defer Office Return Until June 2022

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Facebook offices to fully reopen on 31 January 2022, but worried staffers will have option to delay office return by three to five months

Facebook’s parent organisation Meta has confirmed it will fully reopen its corporate office from 31 January 2022.

However, the firm has also introduced a new programmed called the “office deferral program”, which is designed to give its staff flexibility when it comes to returning to the office.

Indeed, under this scheme, Facebook staff can delay their return to the office by three to five months, meaning that some employees could push back their office return until June 2022.

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Office return

It was back in August this year when Facebook said that it intended to delay its plan to return US staff to their office until January 2022, amid o worries about the surge in Covid-19 cases in the United States and elsewhere, because of the Delta variant.

Fast forward four months, and the world is more concerned with the more infectious (but seemingly less deadly) omicron variant of Coronavirus.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Janelle Gale, Meta’s vice president of human resources, said in a statement that Meta recognises some staff aren’t ready to come back.

“For those wishing to return in January we look forward to providing a vibrant office experience that continues to prioritise health and safety,” Gale reportedly said.

“We also recognise that some aren’t quite ready to come back,” 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 where they work.”

Vaccines, masks

Both Google and Facebook in the summer said they would require staff returning to the office or campus to be fully vaccinated when they return to the office.

In October Facebook said that it would require all its US staff returning to the office or campus, to wear a mask, regardless of their vaccine status.

Both of those plans have reportedly been scrapped.

Facebook it should be noted permits certain staff to work remotely full time and even relocate to another state, 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.

Google – indefinitely delay

Google meanwhile said last week that it has indefinitely delayed its January return-to-office plan globally.

The company’s security VP, Chris Rackow, wrote in the email to full-time employees that it will wait until the new year to assess when U.S. offices can safely return to a “stable, long-term working environment.”

Google also announced previously that it may also cut the salaries of its staff who opt to work from home indefinitely after office restrictions ease.