Triangle firms delaying reopenings, requiring vaccinations to deal with ‘Delta’

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – Triangle tech companies continue to adjust office schedules and discuss or implement vaccination requirements even as President Joe Biden demanded Thursday that companies with more than 100 employees require that their workers be vaccinated.

From IBM, which owns Raleigh-based Red Hat, to Bandwidth, Pendo, Citrix, and others, here’s what the companies have told TechWire about their moves to deal with the continuing COVID pandemic and the rise of the “Delta” variant:

IBM

Full office re-opening is based on local clinical conditions. If local clinical conditions allow, our offices will be open to fully vaccinated employees should they choose to come in, an IBM spokesperson said.

Red Hat

The software giant based in Raleigh began requiring employees to be vaccinated last month.

“Red Hatters working or gathering in a Red Hat office in the United States must be fully vaccinated,” the company said. “We are currently determining how this guidance will be extended to other countries, including considering the availability of vaccines.”

ChannelAdvisor

Randi Seran, VP, Human Resources at ChannelAdvisor, told TechWire:

“ChannelAdvisor’s RTP-based headquarters remains open to fully vaccinated employees. We’re taking safety precautions, including hand sanitizer stations for those who want to work in-person with other team members. We’re a global corporation, so we’re taking every precaution and closely monitoring CDC guidelines in addition to regional guidance for our other office locations. We are following CDC guidelines regarding masks.

“Our Flexible Work Policy, implemented in March, has been a big hit with ChannelAdvisor employees. The feedback we’ve received across the company has been extremely positive. They love having the option to work remotely, in the office, or a mix of both. Most of our employees are taking full advantage of the flexibility, working when and where it’s most convenient for them and their families.
Since we announced our new policy, we’ve seen some recruitment traction. Right now, the job market is highly competitive and candidates are fielding more than one job opportunity, which is why we’re actively recruiting and emphasizing our company’s inclusive culture, benefits, and opportunities for professional development.”

Bandwidth

“We are continuing to closely monitor the situation. We have strongly encouraged Bandmates to be vaccinated, including giving time off to go get the vaccine and providing information on how to get the vaccine,” a spokesperson explained.

“The safety and peace of mind of our Bandmates is a top priority. While local mask mandates are in place, anyone at any of our locations may choose to work remotely.

“Construction of our new headquarters campus continues to move forward on schedule. We have a number of positions open in Raleigh, and in several other U.S. and global locations, as we continue to grow.”

Pendo

While attendance will be optional, the software company will soon implement a vaccine requirement, for all employees who do choose to work from within an office, the spokesperson said.

“We are rolling out a vaccine requirement soon for Pendozers who’d like to work in an office—those who choose not to get the vaccine may continue to work at home,” said the spokesperson.  “We will review our return to work policies again in January.”

All Pendo offices are open, and employees are adhering to all local mask and safety guidelines, a spokesperson for Raleigh-headquartered Pendo, confirmed Thursday.

The company, which earlier this year announced plans to hire as many as 400 new employees, is not requiring in-office attendance.

“Attendance continues to be optional,” the spokesperson told WRAL TechWire.

SAS

Proof of vaccination is required before workers can return to the SAS campus in Cary, a spokesperson says.

“We want to alleviate the impact on our employees and our already overwhelmed health care system,” said Shannon Heath.  “We continue to support the health and safety of our employees by providing easy, free access to vaccinations for employees and their families, including offering them at our onsite health care center.”

SAS headquarters will not fully open until November 1, 2021, at the earliest, Heath added.

The company is tracking the uptick in the number of COVID-19 cases locally, and the spread of the novel coronavirus and its variants globally, and came to the decision to postpone fully reopening SAS world headquarters to November 1, at the earliest.

“Employees are asked to continue with their current remote work arrangements until further notice,” said Heath.  For employees who do work from a SAS office, including headquarters in Cary, they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, said Heath.

“SAS continues its focus on employees and commitment to our flexible culture by offering employees options for how they return to work when it is safe to do so,” said Heath.  “This includes options for full-time on-campus, fully remote, or a hybrid option.”

Citrix

Citrix maintains a large operation in downtown Raleigh and as of Oct. 1 will require workers to be vaccinated before returning to its offices.

“We recently conducted surveys in several locations around the world, and nearly 2/3 of those who responded said that they would be more likely to work from an office if only those who were fully vaccinated were permitted to enter,” a spokesperson told TechWire.

“With that in mind, we announced that beginning October 1, we will require all employees and contractors in the United States, India, United Kingdom and Canada to be fully vaccinated to enter our offices or engage in any Citrix business-related meetings, events, or travel.

“As vaccines become more accessible worldwide, we plan to expand this requirement to other locations. We will allow exemptions for medical or religious reasons, and for those who choose to get vaccinated, we will provide up to four hours of time off.

“Our office in Raleigh was opened to employees at 50 percent capacity in July.

“We feel that work is not a place, but a measure of output and results, and as such, we operate globally on a hybrid model where we provide flexibility in where individuals work. We do not prescribe time in the office. Instead, we empower individuals and teams to determine how and where they work best based on their roles, what’s best for their team and their customers, and the outcomes they need to achieve. So they may work at home, on the office, in the road or anywhere in between.”

Microsoft

Microsft, which has a growing presence in the Triangle and North Carolina, has pushed back its plan to reopen offices. It also requires employees be vaccinated.

Google

Google is proceeding with hiring for a new engineering hub in Durham. The company is requiring vaccinations.

Amazon

The company is requiring warehouse workers to wear masks but has not yet required vaccinations. Amazon operates several distribution facilities in the Triangle and across the state.

Wells Fargo

The bank, which employs thousands across the state. does not require vaccination.

“No changes to anything other than our target for returning to a more normal operating model is now October 18, 2021,” a spokesperson told TechWire.

 





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Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.