Facebook, Uber Set Dates for Some Workers to Return to Offices

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Two Silicon Valley tech titans, Facebook and Uber, have set dates for a fraction of their workforces to return to the office.

Uber said Thursday it plans to welcome back 20% of its workers at its Mission Bay offices in San Francisco on March 29, but the return to work is on a voluntary basis, according to a report Thursday from Reuters.

Facebook says it is bringing back about 10% of its workers to its Menlo Park headquarters on May 10. The announcement, first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, also indicated Facebook's Fremont offices would reopen May 17, its Sunnyvale offices on May 24 and its downtown San Francisco offices June 7, with similar capacity limits.

A Facebook spokesperson released a statement Friday, saying in part the company is "taking a measured approach to reopening offices," and safety protocols will include "weekly testing requirements for anyone working on site."

The statement also said: "We have given employees the option to work from home until July 2, 2021, and following that date, any employee who is not a full-time remote worker may continue working from home until one month after their office reopens at 50% capacity."

With 17,000 employees, according to city data, Facebook was Menlo Park’s largest employer in 2020 by far.

Bay Area tech analyst Tim Bajarin, who has been a consultant to tech giants since 1981, says many tech company workers have been urging employers to let them return to their offices.

“The problem is, of course, you can only do that to some degree and that’s why they’re bringing them in 10%,” said Bajarin.

Sajj Mediterranean restaurants are working hard to keep their food on the minds of customers while they wait for people to return to work. 

“With companies like Facebook, for instance, we provided their employees a promo code that they could use while at home to order pickup or delivery,” said Owen Ayyoub.

Now Sajj is preparing for one of its biggest Menlo Park customer bases to return to work.

“We’re very hopeful, very optimistic and very happy to see folks coming back into the office,” said Ayyoub.

Uber also will have safety protocols in place, according to the Reuters report. Its work-from-home policy was recently extended to Sept. 13.

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