CUPERTINO (CBS SF) – A surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant is thwarting Silicon Valley companies’ plans to get workers back into offices.
Apple reportedly postponed plans to get most employees back to the office from September to October. Many smaller companies do the same.
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“The first concern is the type of new virus called Delta,” said Bochen Wang, who runs a small financial services startup called Zeitro.
His company only has 15 employees but is grappling with some of the same problems as the tech giants.
“We should be back on July 1st and have postponed our return to the office
plan three months later. Now it will be October or November 1st, ”said Wang.
Google had planned to bring back 60 percent of its employees for a few days a week from September. But now the schedule is in question as the company is observing what is known as a “dynamic” situation.
In the meantime, the City of San Jose is seeking the gradual return of its 6,000 employees and the reopening of the City Hall on August 2nd.
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“We are not currently planning to change our current plans,” said spokeswoman Vicki Day.
And this week, Santa Clara County brought back many of its 22,000 employees who were still working from home.
“We prepared ourselves by having the vaccination status of each employee determined,” said District Chairman Dr. Jeff Smith.
Smith said over 90% of the county workers are vaccinated and all
must be masked in all public areas of the district buildings.
But many public and private company employees are in no hurry to get back to the office. They hope to be able to permanently extend work from home for at least a few days a week.
“Your productivity has increased significantly,” said Zeb Feldman, a CEMA Union official who represents 2,000 people in the county.
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“You have been able to work from home successfully and we would like to push employers like the county in that direction,” Feldman said.