According to a company-wide memo acquired by CNBC, Walmart’s corporate job staff will begin returning to the company’s Arkansas headquarters and other offices across the country in early November.
In a statement to staff on Friday, the big-box retailer stated that employees would “transition to working together in our campus offices on a more frequent basis” beginning the week of Nov. 8.
“We are a company whose success is attributed to our people,” said Walmart’s Chief People Officer Donna Morris in the message. “While technology has enabled us to succeed while working virtually throughout the pandemic, there is no substitution for being in the offices together — it helps shape our culture, collaborate, innovate, build relationships and move faster.”
Morris stated that firm leaders would tell the staff of their expected return date based on their position. She stated that Walmart’s global technology staff would continue to work mostly virtually. Software developers and data scientists are among those on the team.
With roughly 1.6 million employees, Walmart is the country’s largest private employer. The majority of those workers are employed in stores and warehouses around the country that have remained open during the outbreak. The store is requiring Covid-19 immunizations for corporate staff but has not mandated them for its whole workforce.
In return to the office memo, Morris cited the vaccine requirement, saying that all campus employees will be fully vaccinated or have an approved accommodation in November.
In a statement in early October, a Walmart spokesperson said the “overwhelming majority of campus associates and field leaders have been vaccinated.” She said some employees received an approved medical or religious accommodation, which will mean regular Covid tests, mask-wearing and social distancing in most cases.
Major employers have delayed their return-to-work dates and provided updates on their plans in recent months. Amazon announced last week that it would leave it up to individual team directors to determine how frequently their employees work in the office. Target announced in August that employees would not be required to return to the company’s headquarters until 2022. Walmart is currently constructing a new headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.