[image by flickr.com]
As people get their vaccinations, we are steadily returning to our pre-pandemic lifestyle by going outside more often and eventually heading back to our offices to continue work like the good old days. Slowly but surely, our lives will return to the way they were before the quarantine began, and we can go back to collaborating with our coworkers at the office. However, this can be somewhat hazardous given that not everyone at the office will be vaccinated or protect themselves from the virus' potential spread. In turn, some big companies have begun to implement mandatory vaccinations for those returning to the offices. The first two big companies to implement this mandate are the Silicon Valley giants Google and Facebook.
On Wednesday, July 28th, Facebook and Google were the first two major companies to require employees to be vaccinated to work in the companies' offices. Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent the email stating that the policy will be in full effect in the upcoming weeks, but it is not exactly sure how Google will enforce it. This policy will also be put into practice in other facilities worldwide as vaccines become more readily available to people around the world.
That same day, Facebook's Vice President of People Lori Goler stated that any employee looking to work in specifically US offices must be fully vaccinated. Both Google and Facebook are aware that certain people cannot be vaccinated due to other medical conditions. So Facebook stated that they "will be evaluating our approach in other regions as the situation evolves." Many other companies are also trying to get all of their employees vaccinated, especially with the new Delta Covid-19 variant spreading, which plays a role in the equation for companies to take action.
Google had also planned to end the work-from-home period and begin to have employees back at their desks by September 1st, after which employees could either choose to remain working from home or return to work and have in-person shifts if their work allowed it. However, this date got pushed back to October 18th to get as many people vaccinated before Google plans to transition its employees back into offices.
Another company that is also going to mandate vaccinations and masks is Apple. Like Google, Apple has delayed its office reopening until October, a month later than it had planned. In addition, Apple requires employees to wear masks regardless of vaccination due to new Delta Covid-19 surges. Apple had also encouraged employees to get vaccinated, but not mandatory.
Indeed, going back to work and having office shifts may be daunting due to some health risks, especially for those who cannot get vaccinated. Hopefully, moving forward, other companies will also implement similar policies and try to protect as many of their employees as possible.