Meta is making the COVID-19 booster shot mandatory for its members of staff who intend to return to the office in March. The social media giant made this known on Monday as it delays full opening of office until March.
The delay of full resumption until late March goes to confirm what we already know—the Omicron variant is causing companies to rethink their earlier plans. According to The Wall Street Journal, Meta workers are due back in the office from March 28. Employees who meet the eligibility guidelines [those who have received the booster shot] would be required to show proof of a booster vaccination before it can use its offices.
“Boosters provide increased protection,” a Meta spokesman said per WSJ. “Given the evidence of booster effectiveness, we are expanding our vaccination requirement to include boosters.”
Facebook had earlier planned for its workers to return to the office this January. The company made the announcement last August at the wake of the third wave of the pandemic. With Omicron however, companies are now being forced to change their earlier plans.
In its original plan, Facebook said 50 percent of its capacity staff in the US will be back to the office by September, while the rest will return by October. As part of precautionary and safety measures, the company had said returning staff would be required to take the Covid vaccination. It also added that employees are to wear masks as they return.
LinkedIn on its part says it does not expect its more than 16,000 global employees to return to the office. The company instead, expects that employees will fully work from home even as offices gradually begin to reopen.
This is contrary to what LinkedIn had indicated last year that it expects its employees to work from an office location 50 percent of the time. Recall that several companies including LinkedIn had sent their employees home as the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged cities in 2020.
“We anticipate that we’ll definitely see more remote employees than what we saw prior to the pandemic,” Chief People Officer Teuila Hanson said per Reuters.
Unlike Google, Facebook and some other tech companies, LinkedIn is not making the COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for its employees. LinkedIn offices in cities of the world will be reopened based on COVID-19 infection rates in those places. We are unlikely to see full reopening in places where the infection rate is high.