In March, companies told their employees they’d be out of the office for weeks. Weeks turned into September, then January, and now, with the virus still surging in some parts of the country, a growing number of employers are keeping employees out of the office until the summer of 2021.
And workers said they were in no rush to go back, with 73 percent of U.S. employees fearing that being in their workplace could pose a risk to their personal health and safety, according to a study by Wakefield Research commissioned by Envoy, a workplace technology company.
Here are some of the companies that told employees they can expect to work from home until the middle of next year:
Google was one of the first to announce that July 2021 was its return-to-office date. Uber, Slack and Airbnb soon jumped on the bandwagon. In August, DocuSign said its 5,200 workers would be able to stay home until June.
In the past week, Microsoft, Target, Ford Motor and The New York Times said they, too, had postponed the return of in-person work to next summer.
Others have said most of their employees will never have to come into the office again:
But even at companies that are announcing delays, they don’t apply to all workers.
Ford last week said its decision to push back in-person office work through June 2021 would apply to its roughly 32,000 employees in North America who are already working remotely. The company, which has around 188,000 employees in total, said the policy does not apply to factory staffWhen Target announced its decision about June 2021 in a letter to staff last week, it said it would apply just to employees at its headquarters in Minneapolis. The company said that a small number of employees who rely on the headquarters facilities would continue to work on-site. In-store employees will work in retail stores as usual.
Some companies that have tried bringing employees back to the office already have grappled with safety concerns.
Last month, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase sent send some workers back home after employees who had returned to the office tested positive for the virus.