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Omicron derails return to office plans; companies all over in wait and watch mode

Omicron derails return-to-office plans; companies all over in wait-and-watch mode

Omicron derails return-to-office plans; companies all over in wait-and-watch mode
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By CNBCTV18.com Jan 6, 2022 3:18:19 PM IST (Published)

The rise in number of cases of COVID-19 has derailed the return to office plans of companies across the globe. Companies in India too, are forced to tweak their office return plans.

With the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases in India, fuelled by the highly contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus, companies are once again shelving plans to return to office.

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On Thursday, India reported a massive spike in its daily tally of COVID-19 cases, logging 90,928 new infections in 24 hours. The country had reported 58,097 fresh cases on Wednesday. India’s active caseload neared the 3-lakh mark with 285,401 infections. Around 2,630 cases of the Omicron variant have been registered in the country till now.

The rising cases have derailed the office return plans of companies across the globe. In India, Flipkart has shelved office return plans for the first few weeks of January on concerns of spread of infection, media reports said. Globally, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and MetLife have delayed their January return-to-office plans, Forbes and The New York Times reported.

Here’s a look at the fresh plans of various companies:

Goldman Sachs

Investment bank Goldman Sachs informed its employees in the US to work from home until January 18 amid a jump in infection rates. The bank had called most of its employees back to office in June.


New York city-based bank JPMorgan has tried to bring back its staff to office several times. At present, the bank said it would allow its staff in the US to work from home for the first two weeks of 2022. However, loan officers, traders, audit, compliance, banking and other professionals will have to return to office schedules before February 1.


The insurance giant has postponed its plans for return to office to March from January 10 previously.

Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley said those who are not required to be in office can work remotely. "We are in transition period still. I thought we would be out of it by Labor day, past Labor day. We're not. I think, we will still be in it through most of next year," CEO James Gorman told CNBC.


In India, the e-commerce giant has asked its staff not to come to office for the next two weeks or until further notice, Moneycontrol reported.


In December, India’s largest IT services firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) told The Economic Times that its plans for a 100 percent return to office would be a “calibrated move”. “In view of the new COVID-19 variant, we continue to monitor the external environment carefully,” ET quoted a TCS spokesperson as saying.


Marico has around 20-25 percent of corporate office employees coming in on alternate weeks, ET reported. "We will continue to assess the risk and monitor the infection rate closely, based on which we will review our position and amend, if necessary," the business daily quoted Amit Prakash, Chief Human Resource Officer of Marico, as saying.


Online travel company MakeMyTrip has 20-25 percent employees coming to office at present. The company hopes to continue with a hybrid work model for the next two quarters.

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