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Amazon.com Inc. says corporate employees won’t have to return to the office regularly until January, becoming the latest big company to postpone its resumption of regular work habits as COVID-19 infections from the delta variant surge in the U.S.
The largest online retailer told employees in an email on Thursday that they should plan to begin coming in to offices the week of Jan. 3. Amazon had previously said its office workers in the U.S. and several other countries should resume their jobs mostly on-site beginning the week of Sept. 7. The postponement was reported earlier by GeekWire.
Amazon employs more than 75,000 people in the Seattle area, most of whom work in the corporate headquarters complex in Seattle and in nearby Bellevue. The company also has major offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, Boston, the Los Angeles area, and the site of its new campus under construction near Washington, D.C.
The company’s Seattle-area neighbor, Microsoft Corp., earlier this week delayed its office-return plans until October, and said it would require employees and visitors to show proof of vaccination before entering its facilities.
Fellow tech giants Google and Facebook Inc. have recently mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for employees who go to the office. Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. delayed their return-to-office plans until October and Apple said it would require workers in some stores to resume masking, regardless of vaccination status. BlackRock Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. also pushed back their return-to-work targets to October, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
Amazon has stopped short of a vaccine mandate for its corporate staffers or the hundreds of thousands of warehouse workers and logistics employees who pack and ship items. A company spokesperson confirmed the new Jan. 3 date, but declined further comment on Amazon’s return-to-work plans.