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Delays, More Masks and Mandatory Shots: Virus Surge Disrupts Office-Return Plans


He did not respond, but a few days later Apple released an internal video in which company executives redoubled their efforts to get workers back to the office. In the video, Dr. Sumbul Desai, who helps run Apple’s digital health division, urged workers to get vaccinated but did not say they would be required, according to a transcript reviewed by The Times.

Some employees didn’t like the video.

“Okay, you want me to risk my life to get back to the office, which will also reduce my productivity, and you give me no logic, why do I really need to do this?” said Ashley Jovik, senior manager of the engineering program.

When the company postponed the date of its return to the office on Monday, a group of employees drew up a new letter that suggested a one-year pilot program in which people could work full-time from home if they wanted to. The letter said that an informal survey of more than 1,000 Apple employees showed that approximately two-thirds doubt their future at the company if they have to return to the office.

Los Angeles-based Endeavor, the parent company of the talent agency William Morris Endeavor, reopened its Beverly Hills headquarters this month. But last week it decided to close again when County Regained Its Mandate To Use Home Masks in the face of a growing number of cases. An Endeavor spokesman said the company decided enforcement would be too difficult and hinder group meetings.

The Indeed recruiting website has targeted September 7 as the date it will begin returning workers on a hybrid basis. The company has now begun revising those plans, said Paul Wolfe, senior vice president of human resources, “because of the Delta option.”

Some companies said the recent spike in referrals has not yet impacted their plans to return to the office. Facebook still intends to resume with a 50 percent load by early September. IBM plans to open offices in the United States in early September so that fully vaccinated employees can walk freely without a mask, and gas company Royal Dutch Shell is gradually lifting restrictions at its Houston offices, prompting more employees to return.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise began allowing employees to return to their offices on Monday, aided by a survey of employees in California that found 94% of them were fully vaccinated.

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