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Friday, December 9, 2022

Work From Home Ends For 1.54 Lakh Apple Employees

Apple Inc. has set the 11th April as the deadline for employees to work from the office again, which will be a key test of how well the company can reestablish office life after the turmoil of the WFH.

Apple’s strategy to get employees back into the office

Employees will have to work from the office for at least one day out of the week by that date, according to a memo shared by Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Friday. After April 11, employees will be expected to show up twice a week in the office. After May 23, employees will be required to work in the office at least three days a week – on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

I know that for many of you, returning to the office represents a long-awaited milestone and a sign that we can engage more fully with colleagues who play an important role in our lives,” Cook said. It may also be an unsettling change for others.

Covid has been trying to bring employees back into the office since last June, but has had to postpone the deadline many times as cases escalated during fall and winter. Prior to the month of December, Apple had previously postponed September, October, January, and February deadlines.

Apple is also giving its employees an extra month of work-from-home time as part of its hybrid pilot program. Alphabet Inc.’s Google has recently adopted a similar policy, requiring employees to work at the office three days a week. Meta Platforms Inc. and Twitter Inc. have been less restrictive, stating that some of their employees will be able to work from home indefinitely even though they have ample office space.

Apple is loosening up Covid protocols

Apple has been loosening Covid-19 protocols gradually across the company. The company recently began to phase out its mask mandate at retail stores for shoppers as well as employees. The company no longer requires office workers in some regions to wear masks if they are fully vaccinated. 

Apple has corporate offices around the world, including in places like Silicon Valley, London and Japan. In the U.S., it has offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Boulder, New York and Miami. 

Below you will find the full memo:

Team,

As our response to COVID-19 continues to evolve, I’d like to share an update on our plans to return to our offices.

In many locations, officials have started lifting pandemic restrictions in accordance with the guidance of public health experts. And based on the latest data, we are optimistic that this progress will continue into the spring.

While many of you have been coming in regularly for quite some time, we are now looking forward to welcoming those of you who shifted to working remotely back to our corporate offices. In the United States, beginning on April 11, we’ll begin the phased approach to the hybrid pilot, with teams returning to the office initially one day a week, and then, beginning in the third week, two days a week. This transitional period will now be extended from four to six weeks.

We will then begin the hybrid pilot in full on May 23, with people coming to the office three days a week — on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday — and working flexibly on Wednesday and Friday if you wish.

Though the timing may vary to some degree in different countries/sites based on local conditions, we will follow the same process wherever we are not yet back in the office. You’ll hear more details from your local teams on specific timing as it applies to your location.

As a reminder, our offices and many services like Caffè Macs and our espresso bars are currently open and many people are already coming in each week. Between now and April 11, I encourage you to join them, whether it’s to grab coffee with a colleague, check out your workspace or hold a team meeting.

Due to the decline in active cases, most, if not all of Apple’s U.S. sites will revert to being mask-optional over the next few weeks. As always, we will continue monitoring local conditions and are prepared to adjust our protocols as necessary for the health of our teams and communities. I also want to make clear that you are always welcome to wear a mask and you should feel comfortable doing so. And I want to reiterate the vital importance of getting the vaccine and a booster if you are able to. You can always find the latest on our protocols on Welcome Forward.

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. For others, it may also be an unsettling change. I want you to know that we are deeply committed to giving you the support and flexibility that you need in this next phase — a commitment that begins with this gradual introduction of our hybrid pilot and includes the option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year. If you have any questions, you can find more details on the People site. 

As we begin this pilot, we are looking forward to learning as we go and adjusting where we need to, all in service of fostering a really collaborative and flexible approach to our work together.

In the meantime, I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to being together again. And I want to thank each and every one of you. Whether you’ve been working from home or coming into our stores, labs or offices, you have been an essential part of this incredible team, and I am so grateful for all that you bring to Apple.

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. 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. I look forward to being together and to learning together during this pilot as we continue to build on the culture that makes Apple such an incredible place.

Tim

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