Major tech companies Google and Uber have both postponed their office reopening dates indefinitely into 2022 due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 omicron variant.
As The Washington Post reported, both companies have postponed their returns to the office, previously planned for Jan. 10, to indefinite times in 2022. These postponements come after the companies had already pushed back their returns multiple times throughout 2021.
In a memo that was obtained by CNBC, Google's vice president of global security, Chris Rackow, told employees that the company will wait until next year to assess when they will be able to safely return to offices.
“We will be re-learning our working rhythms together in 2022, which brings new opportunities and new challenges as we experiment with more flexible ways of working,” Rackow said in his memo.
In an email to employees last week, Uber said, "Since things keep shifting, we’ve decided to no longer have a global [Return To Office] target date for the time being."
"Many of our offices are open and will remain open, and we’ll continue to make them great places to connect, work, and eat with others. If you’re comfortable going in, we encourage you to do so, but being in the office won’t be required until further notice," the company said.
Drake University professor of information systems Alanah Mitchell told the Post that not setting a specific date for a return to the office is logical, given the changes companies have made to past plans.
“The decision to say ‘We’re not sure when we’re going to be back’ is a good decision because it’s a little bit more honest,” Mitchell said.
On Monday, Ford announced that it would also be pushing back its planned January return to offices to March of next year.
"The state of COVID-19 virus remains fluid, and despite the success of our ongoing safety protocols and increased vaccination rates, we are shifting the start date of the hybrid work model to March," Ford said in a statement sent out to employees.