U.S. Bancorp will wait until later this fall to have corporate employees return to the office, citing a resurgence in the coronavirus for delaying its initial plan to end much remote work after Labor Day.
The decision will reverberate on other businesses in downtown Minneapolis, where the company is the fifth-largest employer with nearly 5,000 workers at its corporate headquarters.
“There are increased caseloads across the globe, and the Delta variant has caused us to adjust our plans,” Andy Cecere, the company’s CEO, wrote in an e-mail to employees that was obtained by the Star Tribune.
“After weighing our options, we believe the right course of action is to postpone our broader return to office until sometime in the fourth quarter,” he added.
The company does not have a new date yet, but Cecere said executives will continue to monitor the situation and will give employees 30 days’ notice before they need to return.
“Our goal in moving the date out is to provide more time for people to get vaccinated, allow needed flexibility for parents and caregivers to navigate back-to-school challenges, and give us additional time to buy and configure the necessary technology to support hybrid work,” he said.
Other companies around the U.S., such as Apple and Google, have also pushed back plans to return to the office amid the recent rise in coronavirus cases.
In May, U.S. Bancorp had told employees it would notify them whether their positions going forward would be onsite, remote or hybrid. Most corporate positions were expected to be hybrid, meaning that those employees would be expected to be in the office three days a week.
The company’s top executives have already been back in the office since mid-June with senior leaders returning in July. In addition, some other employees have opted to come in to the office now and then.
Cecere said those who want to are welcome to continue coming into the office. He added that the company’s mask policy, updated last week, means that they are required in the office for unvaccinated employees and are “strongly encouraged” for those who are vaccinated.
Wells Fargo, another large employer with about 7,000 employees who work in downtown Minneapolis, is sticking for now with its plan to begin a phased return to the office in September.
“We are continuing to closely watch the data and will adjust as needed,” Staci Schiller, a Wells Fargo spokeswoman, said in a statement.
Given the CDC’s latest health guidance, Wells Fargo has started to require again that corporate employees who come into the office wear face coverings regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
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