Wells Fargo, BlackRock, Amazon join others in delaying office returns

Surging Delta variant is pushing back-to-work mandates into October

National /
Aug.August 05, 2021 10:35 AM
Wells Fargo, BlackRock join other firms in delaying office returns
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, Wells Fargo CEO Charles Scharf (BlackRock, Wells Fargo)

UPDATED Aug. 5, 2021, 2:55 p.m.: The hits keep on coming for office landlords, with three more major companies pushing back a return to in-person working.

Wells Fargo, BlackRock and Amazon are the latest to postpone in-person work, Bloomberg News reported.

Wells Fargo was planning on bringing back its remote workforce beginning Sept. 7, but the surging Delta variant has now pushed that reopening date to Oct. 4, according to the publication.

With almost 260,000 employees, Wells Fargo has the largest workforce of any U.S. bank. The company is also requiring that all in-person employees wear masks in the office, regardless of vaccination status. The bank is giving employees eight hours of paid time off to encourage them to get vaccinated.

Also pushing back its in-person mandate is investment giant BlackRock, which had originally planned a September return. Instead, employees will now have the option of staying home until Oct. 1.

Employees will not be required to wear masks in the office, except where required by law. BlackRock staffers have had the option of re-acclimating to office life since July.

Amazon shelved its office return until Jan. 3, Geekwire reported. It had been planned for Sept. 7. The retail giant is headquartered in Seattle and also has large offices in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston and the Los Angeles area.

The companies did not go as far as to mandate vaccines for employees, a measure taken by some tech firms, such as Google, as well as major developers Related Companies and the Durst Organization.

The postponements come as American workers remain hesitant about returning to offices and resuming daily commutes. An online survey commissioned by Breeze found that 65 percent of Americans who said their jobs could be done remotely would be willing to take a 5 percent pay cut to work from home permanently.

Some 15 percent of respondents went even further, indicating they’d be willing to take a 25 percent pay cut. Another 15 percent said they’d be willing to sacrifice all of their paid time off to work from home permanently.

This story has been updated with news of Amazon postponing employees’ return to the office.

[Bloomberg News] — Holden Walter-Warner





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