Meta offers a postponement program to staff who are not ready to return

On October 28, 2021, workers picked up trash in front of a new logo and the name “Meta” on a sign in front of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

Meta (formerly Facebook) has announced that it will fully reopen its US office on January 31, but employees can delay their return to the office by three to five months.

The social media giant said Tuesday that the “Office Postponement Program” was designed to give employees flexibility when returning to the office.

Meta said in August that it plans to postpone plans to return US employees to the office until January 2022 due to continued concerns about Covid-19.

In a statement, Meta’s Vice President of Human Resources, Janelle Gale, said Meta admitted that some staff weren’t ready to return.

“For those who want to return home in January, we look forward to providing a vibrant office experience that continues to prioritize health and safety,” Gale said.

“We also recognize that some people aren’t ready to come back,” she added. “We continue to offer a variety of options for choosing the best ones for our employees so they can make informed decisions about where they work.”

According to Meta, certain staff will be able to request full-time remote work if it is possible to work away from the office.

“Data, not dates, drives our approach to returning to the office,” the company said.

Adaptation to new variants

The rapid popularity of the Omicron Covid-19 variant has forced companies around the world to rethink their return-to-work strategies.

Google said last week that it had postponed its January office return plan indefinitely worldwide.

Chris Rakow, vice president of security at the company, said he was a full-time employee waiting until the New Year to assess when US offices could safely return to a “stable, long-term working environment.” I wrote in an email. Nowhere in the United States, according to his email, will adopt the hybrid work obligation on January 10 as planned.

Meta had previously aimed to meet strict vaccination and mask requirements and return employees to the office in October, but these plans have been abandoned.

— Additional report by Jennifer Elias of CNBC. Meta offers a postponement program to staff who are not ready to return

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