Target told its headquarters employees Friday that they will not be required to come into the office for the remainder of the year as it adjusts its plans amid the delta variant.
The Minneapolis-based company is downtown's largest employer with about 8,500 workers who worked out of its office towers along Nicollet Mall before the pandemic.
In an update sent to employees, the company said it is still planning a gradual transition back to the office starting Sept. 20. But only common areas such as cafeterias and conference rooms will initially be open then for those who want to use them.
Plans to reopen other floors and personal workspaces in September have been put on hold to avoid having large groups of people in the building.
"Instead, we'll aim for a slower rollout as we continue evaluating the delta variant's impact and our team's needs," the company said.
As for the remote option for the rest of the year, Target said that if teams decide to hold a meeting in the office, they should also include a virtual option.
Target added that masks will be required and social distancing will also be in effect when people are at headquarters.
Target had previously told employees that it would roll out a flexible, hybrid model this fall when it returns to the office with workers being able to combine coming into the office with working remotely. That was a major factor in its decision earlier this year to permanently shutter its offices in the City Center, a move that cut down its downtown office space by a third.
Target is the latest company in the Twin Cities to adjust its plans for returning to the office this fall amid the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
Some companies such as U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo have decided to delay their returns, originally planned for the day after Labor Day, by at least a month.