Cars pass a Walmart store in Washington, D.C., on August 18, 2020.
Nicholas Cam | AFP | Getty Images
Walmart employees will begin returning to the company’s headquarters in Arkansas and other offices across the country in early November, according to a company-wide memo obtained by CNBC.
In a note to employees Friday, the large retailer said workers will “move to work together in our campus offices on a more regular basis” starting the week of November 8.
“We are a company whose success is attributed to our employees,” Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief employee, said in the letter. “While technology has enabled us to succeed virtually at work during the pandemic, there is no substitute for being in offices together — it helps shape our culture, collaborate, innovate, build relationships, and move faster.”
Morris said company leaders will inform employees about expectations of returning to their positions, based on their role. She said Walmart’s global technology team will continue to operate virtually. This team includes software engineers and data scientists.
Walmart is the largest private employer in the country with approximately 1.6 million workers. Most of these employees work in stores and warehouses across the country that have remained open throughout the pandemic. The retailer is asking company employees to get their Covid-19 vaccinations, but has stopped asking them for their entire workforce.
Morris cited the vaccine requirements in a return to the office memo, saying that all campus staff will be fully vaccinated or have approved housing in November.
In a statement issued in early October, a Walmart spokesperson said that “the vast majority of campus assistants and field leaders have been vaccinated.” She said some employees have approved medical or religious accommodation, which means regular Covid checks, wearing masks and social distancing in most cases.
Over the past several months, major employers have been putting off return dates to the office and have shared updates about their plans. Amazon said last week that the company would leave it up to individual team managers to decide how often its employees work in the office. Target said in August that it would not ask employees to return to its headquarters until 2022.
Walmart is in the process of building a new home office in Bentonville, Arkansas.