Walmart corporate employees will continue working from home until at least July 5, 2021m the company announced in an internal memo.
The memo, obtained by Arkansas-focused news site TalkBusiness.net, cites rising COVID-19 cases across the country and an expected monthslong vaccine distribution as factors in the decision to keep Walmart corporate staff primarily remote until next summer. In the meantime, workers who wish to head in to a Walmart corporate campus will have to complete a health screening before they are allowed to enter. Bentonville, Ark.-based headquarters staff need to reserve time slots and follow other safety protocols to be able to work in-office.
A phased return to the office for most Walmart corporate employees is expected to begin next July. Walmart Chief People Officer Donna Morris noted in the memo that the retailer anticipates having the opportunity “to increase flexibility into our work days” once the return to office begins. And while Walmart’s official position is that working together on-site supports “collaboration, innovation and speed” and will remain the default way of working, some roles, especially in technology, will move to being primarily remote indefinitely, Morris wrote.
Also in the memo, Walmart corporate associates are asked to report positive COVID-19 tests within 24 hours through a confidential online tool. The corporate campus reporting tool is not for those who work in-stores or in supply chain facilities, the memo states.
In Bentonville, work continues on Walmart’s sprawling new headquarters, a tech-focused, four-quad campus connected by biking and walking trails. Walmart is looking to its new headquarters to help attract and retain top talent with features such as outdoor workspaces and on-site child care.