Apple has officially set a date for when it will require corporate employees in the United States to return to offices. As first reported by Bloomberg, Apple has announced that corporate employees will be required to return to the office on April 11.
This is not the first time Apple has announced its plans to return to in-person work. The company has announced and subsequently delayed its timeline four times so far, each time due to pushback from employees as well as changes in COVID-19 case numbers.
Employees will be required to work from the office at least one day per week by that date, according to a memo sent by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Friday. By three weeks after April 11, employees will be expected in the office twice per week. And on May 23, employees will need to be in the office at least three days a week – on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.
“For many of you, I know that returning to the office represents a long-awaited milestone and a positive sign that we can engage more fully with the colleagues who play such an important role in our lives,” Cook said. “For others, it may also be an unsettling change.”
“In the coming weeks and months, we have an opportunity to combine the best of what we have learned about working remotely with the irreplaceable benefits of in-person collaboration,” Cook said in the memo. “It is as important as ever that we support each other through this transition, through the challenges we face as a team and around the world.”
Once employees are required to return to in-person work, Apple will use a hybrid work plan at first. This plan has been dubbed as a “pilot” by Apple CEO Tim Cook. It requires employees on most teams to come into the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Employees can work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays if they so desire.
As we’ve said before, however, even though Apple’s company policy now requires in-person work starting on April 11, many divisions of Apple have been back in the office on and off for more than a year. This specifically includes groups such as hardware engineering and other similar teams.
As COVID-19 case numbers have declined over the last few weeks, Apple has adapted its COVID-19 policies. The company no longer requires that customers wear a mask when visiting retail stores, while retail employees in some locations can also now go mask-free. It also dropped the mask requirement for corporate employees.
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