In the wake of the spreading omicron variant, one more major company is delaying its plans to reopen offices: Ford ( (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report) is pushing back its return-to-work hybrid model from January to March.
While assembly line workers have been working at factories since May 2020, 30,000 of Ford's office workers were slated to return in batches in January 2022.
Amid new variant uncertainty and rising cases in its headquarters in Michigan, the company said that it would start bringing workers back by February.
"The state of COVID-19 virus remains fluid, and despite the success of our ongoing safety protocols and increased vaccination rates, we are shifting the start date of the hybrid work model to March," a Ford representative said in an emailed statement to employees first published by Reuters.
The plan is still for salaried employees to work in-office part of the time and off-site for the rest of the week. The Detroit Free Press obtained confirmation that no employees will be required to work in the office the entire week.
Last month, the company announced that its salaried employees would have to get vaccinated by Dec. 8, a deadline that has since been pushed back to Jan. 4.
First detected in South Africa and now identified all over the U.S., the omicron variant risks further delaying plans for reopening and the supply of key inventory in all segments of the economy as countries tighten borders and moving goods becomes more difficult.
Google ( (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report) and Apple ( (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report) are two companies that recently delayed their own return to office. At close on Monday, (F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report stock was up 1.% to $19.22.