Brian Bulatao, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Administrative Officer (above) emailed all company employees earlier today, advising them that the publisher is lifting “effective immediately” the mandate for employees working from offices to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and hopes that everyone will be back to work personally in the coming weeks.
Bulatao says that “Companies and other indoor venues across the US are increasing vaccination requirements…we think it’s important to align our site protocols with local guidelines.” The main reason for this is clearly employees’ desire to return to the “benefits of working in person” as early as June, although some employees also see the move as an opportunity to monitor employees more closely as part of management’s anti-union efforts.
There is also a security risk; The email states, “We know the situation is constantly evolving and we will continue to monitor the risks for COVID-19 in all areas where we operate,” which seems like a massive understatement the New York Times
While the email said the company would “act quickly — and pivot where necessary — if we see a rise in cases in the future” for those who are unable to return to the office for health reasons or who are concerned about the dangers involved simply choose not to, the email reads, “You may have personal circumstances that you would like to discuss with your manager and HRBP” (we have contacted Activision Blizzard for more information on this point).
You can read the email below, first shared by ABK Workers’ Union Jessica Gonzalez:
March 31, 2022
Bcc: US staff
Everyone, as conditions improve and we prepare to welcome more of you back to our offices, I would like to update you on our vaccination policy. Effective immediately, we are lifting our vaccination mandate for all US employees. This means employees no longer need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to return to the office.
In recent weeks we have seen businesses and other indoor events across the US increasing vaccination requirements and we believe it is important to align our site protocols with local guidelines. While this policy change addresses our current state of the pandemic, we know the situation is constantly evolving and we will continue to monitor the risks for COVID-19 in all areas where we operate. I encourage you to read these FAQs which should help answer your questions.
Although proof of vaccination is no longer required to return to the office, we encourage you to continue to confirm your vaccination status in Workday by following this link. Having this information available allows us to act quickly – and pivot if necessary – if we see cases rising in the future.
We know that going back to the office looks different across our businesses, and even within our businesses. We also recognize that different websites are at different stages of return. While this change may not have an immediate impact on those still working remotely, we wanted to share this now so you have plenty of time to prepare.
Over the next few weeks, you will receive further updates on what the return to the office looks like from your business unit or site manager. While we look forward to your return, we recognize that you may have personal circumstances that you would like to discuss with your manager and HRBP.
As we define what the future of work looks like, I want to remind us all of the benefits of in-person collaboration. To ensure we all have a safe workplace, where we can meet with colleagues and innovate together, it is important that we remain committed to protecting ourselves and others.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding during this time.