U.S. Bancorp had planned to begin bringing employees back to its downtown Minneapolis office after Labor Day, as soon as Sept. 7. Those plans have now changed.
U.S. Bancorp CEO Andrew Cecere, in an email sent to employees Wednesday and provided to Bring Me The News, said a return to the office won't be happening until later in the year, at the earliest.
"After weighing our options, we believe the right course of action is to postpone our broader return to office until sometime in the fourth quarter," Cecere wrote, citing the "increased caseloads" of COVID-19 and the emerging delta variant for the change in plans.
While a specific return date hasn't been determined, Cecere said the company will give employees 30 days' notice before bringing them back. But of course, things remain fluid.
"None of us can say with any degree of certainty that we know what will happen next as COVID-19 and its variants continue to spread," he wrote.
Cecere also expressed hope that during the continued work-from-home period, unvaccinated employees will get vaccinated. The company is not requiring workers to be vaccinated, though strongly encourages it and will offer time off, with pay, for people to get the shot and recover from any side effects they experience.
U.S. Bank is the firth-largest employer in downtown Minneapolis, according to the Downtown Council, with an estimated 4,968 employees. The U.S. Bancorp Center at 800 Nicollet Mall serves as the company's headquarters.
The pandemic has hit downtown Minneapolis, like many city centers, quite hard, with large employers shifting employees to remote work as a precaution against the virus.
Target, for example — downtown's largest employer — said earlier this year it won't return to the nearly 1 million square feet it previously leased in the City Center. But the retailer said it had no plans to move its headquarters out of the city's core, writing "the Twin Cities will remain Target’s hometown."