Apple
(Photo : Unsplash/ Bangyu Wang) Apple office

Apple employees are requested to go back to the office, and this will take effect in February 2022, Tim Cook says.

Apple's CEO told employees via an internal email sent on Nov. 18 that the tech giant is pushing back its return to office plan until next year.

Apple's Back to Office Memo

Cook said that employees will be requested to come in one to two days a week in February 2022. In March 2022, it will implement its hybrid work plan, in which the majority of the employees will be asked to come in Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

The company is also reportedly increasing the amount of times employees can work remotely to four weeks per year.

In June, Cook announced that employees would be asked to return to in-person work three days a week beginning early September, according to Apple Insider.

Also Read: Apple CEO Tim Cook Says Company is Currently Looking For the Employee Who Leaked a Confidential Memo

The news started an internal pushback, with thousands of employees joining a Slack channel to talk about remote work advocacy.

Cook said employees whose work requires them to come to the office more frequently will be asked to return four to five days a week. He encourages all staff members to get vaccinated. So far, the company has stopped short of implementing a vaccine mandate.

Apple declines to comment beyond the memo. Apple's hybrid work plan is a significant shift for the tech giant, which historically discouraged working from home.

But it is still more conservative than plans announced on Facebook and Twitter, which have embraced fully remote working models.

Some parts of the United States are still dealing with major COVID-19 outbreaks. While waves that hit the Southeast have passed, parts of New England are dealing with rising case numbers and hospitalizations.

In early November, hospitals in Colorado had to turn some patients away because of the increase in COVID-19 cases, according to NBC News.

Apple Employee's Request

Apple employees pushed back against a new policy that would require them to return to the office three days a week starting in early September.

Staff members said that they want a flexible approach where those who want to work remotely can do so, according to an internal letter obtained by The Verge.

The letter said that the employees would want to communicate a growing concern among them, that Apple's remote or location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of them to quit their work at Apple.

The letter added that without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of the employees feel they have to choose between either a combination of their families, their well-being, and being empowered to do their best work, or being a part of Apple.

The move comes two days after Tim Cook sent out a note to Apple employees saying they would need to return to the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays starting in the fall. Most employees can work remotely twice a week. They can also be remote for up to two weeks a year, pending manager approval.

It is an easing of restrictions compared to Apple's previous company culture, which famously discouraged employees from working from home before the pandemic.

Yet, it is still more conservative compared to other tech companies. Both Facebook and Twitter have told employees that they can work from home forever, even after the pandemic ends.

Related Article: Apple Will Require Unvaccinated Employees to Undergo COVID-19 Tests Daily When Reporting to Work

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Written by Sophie Webster

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