Facebook, Google, Uber release return to work plans: Bay Area Tech firms set the date

office workplace

The area’s tech giants have given guidance this week on return-to-work plans, according to multiple reports. The plans impact a significant portion of the region’s workforce.

Facebook has set a May 10 opening target date for a voluntary return to onsite work, for up to 10 percent of maximum seated capacity in its Menlo Park headquarters, provided local COVID-19 case data continues to improve. Offices in Sunnyvale will open May 24, followed by Fremont on May 17 and San Francisco on June 7, under the same parameters. Employees can still opt to work from home until early July, and can choose to continue remotely until their local office has reached 50 percent capacity, which for the largest offices could be after Labor Day.

Uber welcomed employees to its new San Francisco headquarters on March 29, allowing up to 20 percent of employees to return to work on a voluntary basis. The rideshare giant had previously slated September 13 as its return date.

Google notified employees on Wednesday they will be allowed to return to the workplace in April on a voluntary basis, at reduced capacity subject to local COVID-19 health guidance, ahead of the September 1 return deadline announced at the end of last year.  

Apple CEO Tim Cook has remained tight-lipped about return to work plans since telling employees in December they would be working from home until June.  However he recently signaled the company’s commitment to in-person work, telling People Magazine last month, “I can’t wait until that happens,” and describing Apple as ‘very much an in-person team because we believe that’s best for collaboration.”

Most companies have indicated a hybrid approach will likely be part of the operations model going forward. Vaccines will not be required to return to work at many top firms, at least initially, but key perks will be absent from the onsite work experience as well. Free food, onsite workout centers and WiFi-enabled shuttles are among the benefits not yet available to returning employees.