The parent company of Facebook said Tuesday it will fully reopen its U.S. offices at the end of January, but will give workers a chance to delay their scheduled return as late as June.
Meta Platforms Inc.’s (NAS:FB) new “office deferral program” is designed to give employees flexibility in coming back to offices and determining how they work, a spokesman said. The company previously offered most of its employees the option to work remotely full-time.
The move by Meta comes at a time when many companies are rethinking return-to-office plans because of uncertainty about the omicron variant and an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Companies including Ford Motor Co. (NYS:F) and Alphabet Inc.’s (NAS:GOOGL) (NAS:GOOG) Google have delayed required return-to-office dates in recent days, while others are moving ahead with existing plans.
Many of Meta’s U.S. offices, including its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, have reopened at a limited capacity in recent months. The office-deferral program, available to employees in the U.S. and Canada, is meant for staffers who want to put off an office return for three to five months, but who don’t want to opt in to long-term remote work.
Meta requires anyone working at its U.S. offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19. The company had more than 68,100 full-time employees world-wide as of Sept. 30, and about half of its workforce is based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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