The Omicron Variant: How Companies Should Respond | Harvard Business Review

Workforce Trends

I mentioned last week that as concerns over the Omicron variant grow, a segment of firms is altering their return to office plans and health and safety protocols. GoogleApple, and The Hartford have pushed back their return to office dates, and Hyundai Motor Group introduced new rules around office gatherings. This past week, Jeffries Financial Group asked its employees to continue working from home because of an increase in COVID-19 cases. The firm also canceled client parties and almost all travel. Meta Platforms, formerly known as Facebook, said it would fully reopen its offices in the US on January 31 while allowing employees to delay their scheduled return by three to five months. Lyft announced it wouldn’t require workers to come back to its offices until 2023, though they will fully reopen as planned in February. Ford Motor is pushing its return-to-office hybrid plan for 30,000 workers to March next year. And while Molson Coors has reopened its offices, it has provided employees with color-coded wristbands (red, yellow, and green) to help colleagues signal their comfort level with physical contact (e.g., handshake, elbow bump, hug). As firms continue to evaluate and make workplace decisions in response to the Omicron variant, this HBR article provides a few guidelines to consider. For your reference, here is my list (pre-omicron) of how 149 firms were approaching their return-to-office plans and vaccine mandates.

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