2 San Francisco Bay Area tech giants prepare to reopen offices

Two Bay Area tech giants are preparing to reopen their offices for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facebook confirmed Friday it will start bringing employees back to the Menlo Park headquarters at 10% capacity beginning May 10. The Fremont offices are scheduled to open May 17, Sunnyvale on May 24 and San Francisco on June 7.

Uber told the San Francisco Chronicle on Friday that it will open its new S.F. headquarters in Mission Bay on Monday at 20% capacity.

This news comes as COVID infection rates are declining across the Bay Area and public health departments are easing restrictions. Both Santa Clara and San Francisco counties are in the orange tier in California’s reopening plan and nonessential offices are allowed to reopen with safety measures in place, though remote work is encourage. San Francisco County limits capacity for offices to 25%.

Facebook said in a statement that the safety of its employees and the surrounding communities is its top priority.

“As we return to the office, we have a number of safety protocols in place including physical distancing and masks required at all times when in an office, and where possible, weekly testing requirements for anyone working on site,” Facebook spokesperson Chloe Meyere said. “We will continue to work with experts to ensure our return to office plans prioritize everyone’s health and safety.”

Facebook will not initially offer some of the employee perks available before the pandemic, including food in its cafeterias and cafes and shuttle service.

“At this point, employees will be responsible for their own transportation and meals and we will not be providing employees with the facilities or amenities typically offered at our offices,”  Meyere said. “We look forward to being able to resume normal office operations in later phases.”

Facebook employees have the option to work from home until at least July 2, and after that, the company will be gradually bringing more employees back as long as health data continues to improve.

While Facebook and Uber are making the leap to bring employees back to the office, some tech companies, including Reddit and Twitter, have said they will give employees the option to work remotely indefinitely.

Uber did not immediately respond to comment for this story.

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