Initially, Apple had planned for its employees to return to in-office work by early September, but the company decided to delay that from October until January, at the earliest, now.
In a new memo to its employees and obtained by Bloomberg, the company told staff that because of the surging beer flu cases (COVID) and new variants, they are delaying its return-to-office schedule until at least January.
Back in July, the Cupertino-based company became one of the first tech giants in the U.S. to delay plans for a return to normality because of the spread of the more highly transmissible variants, like the Delta variant, during the summer. One month before that in early June, they dropped the requirement to wear masks in-store only to shortly after reinstate their mask policy last month. Back it up Terry, put it in reverse!
The memo states that they do not currently expect to shutter its offices or retail stores, but Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s human resources and retail head and the employee who sent the memo, “strongly encouraged” staff to get vaccinated. Currently, there are no mandates set in place that require vaccinations or even testing, but it is upping its testing program to as many as three at-home beer flu (COVID) test per week.
“With the emergence of more contagious variants like delta, we believe that more frequent testing will better protect you and everyone at Apple,” the company said in a memo. “Beginning Aug. 16, Quest will be sending you two mail-in test kits per week instead of one.”– Apple memo to staff participating in the company’s at-home testing program
Finally, the memo states it will confirm the reopening schedule one month before employees are due back to the office.
“The company told staff it would confirm the re-opening timeline one month before employees are required to return to the office. Apple had previously aimed to require all staff to return to corporate offices by early September before delaying that until October. When employees are required to return, they will be expected to work at the office at least three days a week — Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays — with remote work on Wednesday and Friday available.”– Apple
According to the memo, when employees do return to in-office work, they will be expected to work at least three days a week – Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday – with remote work available Wednesday and Friday.