SAN FRANCISCO—On November 5, ride-sharing company Uber announced that the company will reopen its San Francisco office headquarters to employees this month, which has been closed since March.
The company sent out an email to employees on November 5, announcing that starting November 12, employees will be allowed to use the office for as long as it is permitted by the city. The company did state that the office will have a 10% capacity limit, which is a total of about 250 employees. The rest of Uber’s employees will have to continue working from home. Employees who choose to work from home may do so until at least July 2021, after which they may be required to return back to work in-person if the COVID-19 situation allows it then.
Before employees are able to return to office, Uber said that they will have to undergo new, virtual training in order to be taught new health protocols. Desks in the office will be separated by six-feet to ensure social-distancing, and everyone in the building must wear face coverings at all times. Uber also expects desks to be frequently sanitized, and employees to undergo health screening upon entrance. Snacking will not be allowed, and meals will be prepackaged.
“There’s only so much we can do. Everyone understand the need for safety”, said Michael Huaco, Uber’s vice president.
Despite the partial-reopening of offices, Uber’s other services such as ride-sharing and food-delivery remain fully functioning, as those are considered “essential services”. Uber continues to provide their drivers with hand sanitizer, masks and personal protective equipment for vehicles, but since drivers aren’t considered employees, they still lack other protections that Uber’s corporate staff have.