Walmart’s corporate employees in Bentonville have mostly been working remotely from home since mid-March. But the retail giant has plans to return them Aug. 17, making room for up to 50% capacity at the home office, according to a recent memo from Donna Morris, chief people officer at Walmart.
While Aug. 17 is the target date for implementation, Morris noted in the memo the situation remains fluid.
“We continue to approach our return to campus offices with a focus on the safety of our associates. While our goal remains to transition the majority of associates back to working in our offices, we will only do so when we’re confident this can be done in a safe manner,” Morris noted in the internal memo, which was provided Friday (July 10) to Talk Business & Politics upon request.
Morris said during the first phase of having employees return to the home office, only those who needed access to equipment or facility technology to complete their daily tasks were working on-site. She said the company introduced safety measures in all of its campuses, including social distancing and the requirement of face masks. Employees working on-site were also asked to complete a daily health screening process.
Morris reiterated that some divisions such as Global Technology had decided to work remotely indefinitely.
For those home office employees tentatively returning to the corporate campus on Aug. 17, Morris said social distancing guidelines had been put into place, providing six feet of space between workstations.
“When you return to the office, you’ll notice many of our office spaces have been redesigned based on social distancing guidance,” Morris wrote in the memo. “While all of our offices look a bit different, you’ll see an example photo attached of what this new social distancing approach looks like in one facility.”
Walmart has in the past two weeks worked to make the necessary adjustments, Morris said. Employees were asked to provide details about their personal belongings from their work areas to ensure the items are easily found when they return to work. Morris said the company would provide monthly updates on additional return-to-campus guidelines in the future.
Walmart is the largest corporate employer in the region. With thousands working from home, some local restaurants near the home office closed following work-from-home guidelines that took effect in mid-March. They cited no lunch crowds, which was their primary source of revenue.