Lyft pushes back staff's return to office until 2023 at earliest

Lyft's offices will fully reopen in February as planned but returning will be optional for the whole year. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Lyft said employees can work remotely for the entirety of 2022, a reversal of its previous mandate and one of the longest office-return delays among major companies.

The second-largest United States ride-hailing operator revised an earlier requirement for workers to be back at their desks in February.

Many companies are changing their return dates yet again in response to the Omicron variant of Covid-19, but few have gone as far as Lyft's full-year reprieve. Google informed employees last week that it will not enforce its January deadline and will reassess after that. Uber Technologies, Lyft's main rival, made a similar move.

Lyft's offices will fully reopen in February as planned for employees who want to come in, but returning will be optional for the whole year. The new policy is meant to provide workers with flexibility, a Lyft spokesman said. The change was not "exclusively tied" to Omicron, but the new strain was "a factor contributing to some uncertainty", she said.

The San Francisco-based company does not plan to go fully remote indefinitely as others, including Twitter, have done. Lyft will "continue to talk with team members, use their insights and prioritise flexibility as we develop long-term plans for how we work", the spokesman said.

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