Apple in-person work requirements delayed due to COVID-19 cases

In April, after a number of delays and false starts, Apple officially started requiring employees to return to the office for in-person work. Apple’s plan called for a gradual implementation of in-person work, starting at one day per week and increasing to three days per week.

Come May, with COVID-19 cases increasing once again, Apple paused the rollout of its plans. Now, Bloomberg reports that it’s unlikely that Apple will implement the three days per week requirement anytime soon.

Apple in-person work changes

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. It started with a requirement of one day per week in person, increasing to 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. Apple, however, stopped short of implementing this requirement until rising COVID-19 cases.

In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman explains that he’s been told the view inside Apple is that “a full implementation of its return-to-office plan is probably not imminent.” This means that employees will continue working in-person two days a week, and from home three days per week.

The company’s reasoning for this is simple, with the sense being that “more employees are testing positive for Covid than ever” and there’s no reason to push ahead into a full implementation of its hybrid work program.

What’s important to remember, however, is that Apple’s policies can vary from team to team. Many teams inside Apple have been working in-person since mid-to-late 2020, while others have settled on more permanent and flexible remote working arrangements indefinitely.

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.

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Naveen Kumar

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