Apple delays its return to the office three days a week

Apple has informed company employees that it is delaying requiring most staff to be in the office at least three days a week amid an increase in COVID-19 cases in the Apple region. the San Francisco Bay Area, where the company is based.

In a message to staff members obtained by The Business News, Apple’s pandemic response team cited COVID-19 conditions as the cause of the delay in the plan, which was due to take effect next week. The team said the update affects employees in the Santa Clara Valley, where Apple is headquartered.

“We will make changes to other locations as needed,” the post read. “We continue to closely monitor local data and are committed to providing at least two weeks notice of any changes. »

Apple declined to comment on the post. The news was first reported by Bloomberg News.

The move is the latest example of how big tech companies, which were among the first to shift to remote working at the start of the pandemic, have faced challenges getting their employees back to busy campuses on a regular basis. benefits they spent billions to build.

Apple’s hybrid return-to-work plan has been a source of tension among some employees since it was first announced last summer. After delays due to increases in COVID-19 cases over the fall and winter months, Apple began requiring most workers to be in the office at least once a week in April before increasing the number to twice a week later that month.

Ahead of the final phase of the pilot, which would have workers in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, a group of employees organizing as part of a newly formed group known as Apple Together addressed publicly petition management for more flexibility. Apple Together, which was formed to advocate for workers’ wellbeing and rights, denounced a perceived disconnect between the company’s external marketing to customers – that its products allow people to “work from anywhere – and its internal messaging to employees.

“We are not asking that everyone be forced to work from home,” the group wrote. “We ask to decide for ourselves, with our teams and our direct manager, what type of work organization best suits each of us, whether in an office, working from home or in a hybrid approach. »

The petition has been signed by 1,445 current and former Apple employees to date. The company has not commented on its existence.

For now, Apple employees in the Bay Area will continue to work in the office two days a week, with a few additional safety protocols. Apple said in the message to workers that it is temporarily asking people to wear masks when in common areas of the office such as meeting rooms, hallways and elevators.

Apple also told employees that if they “do not feel comfortable coming into the office during this time, you have the option of working remotely. Please discuss your plans with your manager.”

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