Delays in Meta return to the office to March 28 optimistic

Meta, the company that at the start of this pandemic was called Facebook, has updated its back-to-office guidelines, moving its target date from the end of this month to March 28, CNBC reports. With changing reopening schedules and inconsistent directions, one can only imagine how upset the company’s employees are.

To get smart: Back in December of 2020, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told employees for the first time that they wouldn’t be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to work. At the time, the company expected remote work to continue until at least July 2021, although it later pushed to open offices in May. By June, Zuckerberg issued a new decree: Either ask a manager’s permission to work from home, or he’s expected to come to the office for at least half a week.

A month after the Delta variant emerged, Zuckerberg changed his stance on vaccine requirements for employees, and the company set a new target in October for a full reopening. By August of last year, it had pushed its return to the office to January of 2022. With Omicron spreading rapidly this winter, Meta stuck to fast to its January 31 goal, but gave some employees the option to delay in-person work by three to five months from Through the Office Deferment Program. Incidentally, this new March 28 date includes a new requirement that employees receive the booster vaccine as well.

Faced with so much uncertainty, many of Meta’s tech peers, such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Uber and Docusign, have chosen to postpone reopening indefinitely. Facebook’s built-in coordinators at the company’s Mountain View headquarters were scheduled to report work in the office on January 24 — one week earlier than full-time employees and no different option. Their contractor, Accenture, reversed this decision after widespread internal protests from workers.

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