Companies in US filing back to the office

A Google sign is shown at one of the company's office complexes in Irvine, California, US, July 27, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Major US companies are recalling employees to the office a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of them to work from home.

Microsoft, Google, Walmart and others will adopt a hybrid model combining work-from-home with work in the office.

Microsoft said last week it would begin allowing more workers back into its headquarters in Redmond, Washington, starting Monday.

Kurt DelBene, an executive vice-president at Microsoft, wrote on the company's blog: "As some employees return to our global work sites and others prefer or need to work remotely, we are finding additional ways of putting our hybrid workplace into practice. 

"At each of our global work sites, the hybrid workplace model strikes a balance, providing limited additional services on campus for those who choose to return, while supporting those who need to work remotely or feel more comfortable doing so."

In step four in its six-step "dial" plan, the Redmond campus will allow 57,000 non-essential workers to work from home, the office or both. The company has approximately 160,000 employees. Microsoft will also continue to require employees to wear masks and maintain social distancing.

Google is also taking a hybrid approach in getting people back to the office. It is testing out a flexible workweek. 

It also announced plans to hire 10,000 people this year for post-pandemic business. They will be added to offices in Atlanta, Washington DC, Chicago and New York. The company said it will build new offices in Minnesota, Texas and North Carolina. 

Google's parent Alphabet also will invest $7 billion this year to expand its offices and data centers in the US. At least $1 billion will be spent in California. 

The Partnership for New York City said that as of early March, only 10 percent of the city's 1 million office workers were in offices. The business group said it expects nearly half of them to return to the office by September.

In what is being seen as a move that may compel more private businesses in the city to bring their employees back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that 80,000 municipal office employees, including caseworkers, computer specialists and clerical staff, must return to work in phases starting May 3.

The city said that vaccinations won't be mandatory for those returning. The wearing of face masks will be encouraged but won't be mandatory. 

"We're going to make it safe, but we need our city workers back in their offices where they can do the most to help their fellow New Yorkers," de Blasio said. "And it's also going to send a powerful message about this city moving forward."

In the city's financial sector, JPMorgan Chase will require summer interns to work in its Manhattan offices. Investment bank Morgan Stanley announced last week that it plans a full return to its Midtown headquarters, though some employees may be able to work remotely from time to time.

In Manhattan, the amount of sublet office space that became available in 2020 was 50 percent. It is now 27 percent of all space, according to Savills, the real estate firm.

In the retail sector, Target is making remote work a part of its future. It will reduce a third of its work space at its headquarters in Minneapolis.  

Walmart, the country's largest private employer, said it will expand its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, and will allow workers on its technology team to work remotely indefinitely.

In the US, hospital admissions and deaths due to COVID-19 are declining nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But getting office workers back to work will depend on people getting vaccinated.

Approximately 81.4 million Americans have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 44 million, or 13.3 percent of the population, have been fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. 

Some companies are offering employees incentives — from paid time off to money —to get the vaccines. They include AT&T, Target, Trader Joe's, Petco, Dollar General, Kroger and McDonald's. 

Marriott International Inc, the world's largest lodging company, will provide the equivalent of four hours pay to employees at hotels it manages in the US and Canada, once the workers have completed the vaccination course.

American Airlines will give an extra day off next year and $50. Amtrak is giving employees two hours of pay when they show proof of their vaccination, as well as excusing absences for those who get vaccinated during work hours. 

And Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is offering anyone with proof of a vaccination a free doughnut every day for the rest of the year.





微软执行副总裁库尔特·德尔贝尼(Kurt DelBene)在公司博客上写道:“随着一些员工回到我们的全球工作场所,其他人更喜欢或需要远程工作,我们正在寻找更多的方法来将我们的混合工作场所付诸实践。










在该市的金融业,摩根大通将要求暑期实习生在曼哈顿办公室工作。投资银行摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)上周宣布,计划全面恢复其在中城的总部,尽管一些员工可能可以不时地远程工作。







一旦员工完成疫苗接种课程,世界上最大的住宿公司万豪国际有限公司(Marriott International Inc .)将向其在美国和加拿大管理的酒店的员工提供相当于4小时的工资。






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