Apple delays stricter in-person work policies due to COVID-19

Apple is once again pausing its return to in-person plans due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. The company had originally said that employees would be required to work in-person three days per week starting next week on May 23, but it is now delaying that requirement.

Notably, the company has also not set a new date for when the requirement will go into effect. Employees are still expected to work two days a week in person though.

Apple employees started returning to in-person work on April 11, following a two-year stint of remote work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company had planned to use a phased approach to returning to in-person work and began requiring two days of in-person work on May 4.

The next step in this phased approach was to bring employees back to the office three days per week on May 23, specifically requiring in-person work on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. That stage of the process, however, is what Apple is now delaying.

As first reported by BloombergApple is still requiring employees to work in-person two days a week, but it will not ramp that up to three days a week on May 23 as originally planned. The company is delaying that requirement indefinitely.

Apple is also increasing its masking policies and will now require employees to wear face masks in all common areas.

The changes to Apple’s plans come as COVID-19 cases have once again started to increase in the United States and other countries. Hospitalizations are also increasing but at a much slower pace, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

Apple has faced criticism for its insistence on requiring in-person work for employees, with the company’s policies being more restrictive than other Silicon Valley companies.

This decision to delay the return to three days per week in person is unlikely to quell that criticism. In fact, it could lead to more criticism based on the fact that Apple has acknowledged an increase in COVID-19 cases, but is still requiring two days per week of in-person work.

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Naveen Kumar

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