As many of its corporate brethren leave their timelines for returning to the office open-ended, or push things back to next year, T-Mobile is “highly encouraging” its workforce to get vaccinated and return to the office as soon as possible.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based company is requiring vaccinations in its “badge-controlled” offices and customer service locations through at least March 1, 2022. The policy does not apply to T-Mobile retail locations, where T-Mobile encourages vaccination and requires employees and customers to wear masks if unvaccinated.
T-Mobile has delayed a required return to the office from Sept. 20 to Oct. 25. After that, employees will need special approval to continue working remotely.
The Seattle Times first reported the news. T-Mobile separately confirmed its plans.
“Because we took the step to require vaccinations at our offices, we added extra time from our previously announced September 20 return to office timeframe and extended the date to October 25,” a T-Mobile spokesperson said via email in response to an inquiry from GeekWire. “We are still, however, highly encouraging vaccinated employees to return to the office starting now.”
The spokesperson said, “Employees of course make their own health choices, and can request to continue to work remotely during this timeframe, which will be approved based on their role and circumstances.”
The company will be requiring employees who work in the office to provide proof of vaccination by Oct. 25, and likely sooner, the spokesperson said.
Many companies previously planned to bring employees back to the office on a regular basis this fall, but the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant thwarted their plans.
Companies including Amazon and Expedia have now pushed their returns to the office back to January 2022. Microsoft, Redfin and others are leaving their timelines open-ended, promising to give employees ample notice when they set new dates.
The policies apply to the broad workforces of those companies. In many cases, individual employees can go into the office if vaccinated.