Thursday, September 15, 2022

Honeywell brings employees back to its Charlotte office, with one major COVID change

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Honeywell has brought its approximately 800 employees back to work in its uptown headquarters — with one big change.

The Charlotte-based manufacturing tech giant brought its employees back on a flexible schedule: working from the office three days a week, with the option to work from home twice a week. The policy will be in place for the foreseeable future, the company confirmed Monday.

Honeywell is the latest big employer in the Charlotte region to bring people back during the pandemic. Employers have taken different approaches to the return to in-person work after a COVID-19 case spike in August and September threw a wrench in earlier plans.

At Honeywell, the return to office change will provide additional flexibility for employees and helps the company manage capacity limits and maintain social distancing, Honeywell said in a recent statement. Employees are working with their managers to determine their weekly schedule.

Honeywell started inviting employees back to its new uptown headquarters in phases beginning this August and just recently finished bringing all of them back.

The company is also mandating that all workers in all of its U.S. offices receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Honeywell requires that all employees who work at locations that support U.S. government contracts to be fully vaccinated — that includes the Charlotte office, it said.

Workers can apply for medical or religious accommodations when applicable, the company added.

“We are strong advocates for vaccination as the best available method to combat the pandemic,” Honeywell said in a statement.

Honeywell is a major manufacturer of aerospace and electronic equipment that moved its headquarters from New Jersey to Charlotte in 2018.

All of the company’s uptown employees are able to return to the office, Honeywell confirmed. Honeywell has moved into a new 23-story tower along Interstate 277 on the former Charlotte Observer site.

On Thursday, the Biden administration set a Jan. 4 deadline for companies with more than 100 employees to ensure that workers are vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus. A federal appeals court, however, has temporarily issued a stay of that order.

Honeywell said it will comply with all federally mandated vaccine requirements.

The company has about 110,000 employees worldwide, according to its Linkedin page.

Charlotte’s return to the office

Some of Charlotte’s largest employers have yet to bring their employees back to the office, while others have moved ahead with their plans.

Wells Fargo delayed its return to work plans three times after originally intending to launch its return shortly after Labor Day. The bank, which employs 27,000 in the city, isn’t bringing the majority of employees back until January.

But Bank of America invited all vaccinated employees back to the office in July. On Thursday, the bank said it had over 100,000 employees who have returned to the office and more returning every week.

“We have consistently said we are a work-from-office culture that thrives on communication, partnership and collaboration,” the bank said in a statement.

Many of the city’s largest employers stopped short of requiring workers to get the vaccine. Federal mandates will change that if they clear legal hurdles.

Observer staff writer Gordon Rago contributed to this report

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