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August 11, 2021

The Hartford delays return to office, says more employees will transition to hybrid schedule

Photo | CoStar The Hartford's Asylum Hill headquarters in Hartford.

The Hartford is joining the ranks of major employers postponing their return-to-office plans in light of the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon to the Hartford Business Journal, Matthew Sturdevant, a spokesman for the insurer, said an early fall return-to-work target date, Oct. 4, would be pushed out indefinitely. Company officials “will determine return timing when it is prudent to do so, based on guidance from public health experts at all levels of government,” Sturdevant said.

The Hartford also signaled that it will move to expand remote and hybrid work options even after some employees eventually return to their offices in an effort to increase flexibility and sustain productivity.

“About half of our employees will continue to work remotely full-time, as they did before the pandemic,” the statement read. “Many of those who worked full-time in the office before the pandemic will move to a hybrid model, going to the office for purposeful activities that are better performed together and working remotely, if they prefer, for focused time to accomplish objectives. The office will continue to serve as the primary workplace for certain roles, such as business essential functions.”

The Hartford is not alone in recalculating the timing of a mass return to the workplace.

Travelers Cos., which has its largest office in Hartford, announced plans last week to delay its own employee recall. The firm had aimed for an early September return date but has postponed its schedule by “at least one month.”

Stanley Black & Decker also recently announced that two-thirds of its employees will move to a hybrid model.

Similarly, tech firms such as Apple and Google have opted to extend work-from-home options into October, while ride-share service Lyft says its corporate employees will not have to appear in-person for work until February 2022.

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