Wells Fargo on Thursday said it would push back the reopening of its offices by about a month to early October, making it the biggest bank yet to shift gears because of rising Covid-19 cases. And BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, is also delaying until October.
“There are increased caseloads across the globe, and the Delta variant has caused us to adjust our plans,” Andy Cecere, US Bank’s CEO, wrote in an email to employees.
The change in plans by Wells Fargo, BlackRock and US Bank stands in contrast with the stance of other major banks.
But the Delta variant could force a rethink, especially if employees indicate they aren’t comfortable with piling back into crowded offices, subways and buses.
“We will continue to closely monitor the impacts of the Delta variant and the response from schools, governments and other employers as we finalize our plans to return to the office,” Bakish said in a memo.
He said in part that “we recognize that many Googlers are seeing spikes in their communities caused by the Delta variant and are concerned about returning to the office. This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it.”
If more companies delay their office reopenings, it would deal a blow to the restaurants, bars and other small businesses that had been banking on a return of office workers this fall.