Both Sony and Universal have informed employees that they will be working remotely until January 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Warner has also informed its employees that they should not plan on returning to offices until next year, according to reports obtained by Rolling Stone.
Universal had first hoped employees would be able to return in September, but due to the rising cases of COVID-19 throughout the United States, the company now does not see employees being able to return until January at the earliest. Sony said they intend to have a few in-person meetings over the next coming months, but that employees will hear in advance if they are requested to join. Warner informed its employees that they plan to see how things develop, and find no need to be among the first to return.
“At this point, it’s our best judgement [to] not have a widespread return to our U.S. offices at least through late January, 2021, if not longer,” Universal had said in a memo to its employees.
Universal’s CEO, Lucian Grainge, had been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 back in March, near the beginning of when the pandemic first swept across the United States. The music companies are only the most recent to inform employees that they shouldn’t plan to return to offices until next year. Google plans to have employees working from home until July of next year, while Zillow and Twitter have informed employees they will be working from home “indefinitely.”
The United States saw a jump in COVID-19 cases throughout the month of July, with Mississippi, Tennessee, Nevada, Florida, California and several other states seeing a steep increase in coronavirus cases. New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Jersey managed to see a decrease in cases, and New Hampshire, Maine and Hawaii have remained relatively flat, but with a slight increase.