Apple pushes office return back to February

Tech giant to launch a hybrid work pilot with working from home allowed on Wednesday and Friday, according to reports

The Apple office in California, from below

Apple has announced that its employees will return to the office at the start of February as part of a hybrid work pilot.

Staff learned of the decision on Thursday, according to The Information, via an internal memo from CEO Tim Cook. 

The pilot will start with workers in the office two days a week before moving up to three (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday) in March. The pilot appears to be rigid on which days are taken for remote work as it just lists Wednesday and Fridays and some employees will be asked to work in the office for either four or five days if their roles require it. 

The tech giant had previously offered its employees two weeks of remote work per year but added two more to give more opportunities for travel, family time, or to simply "shake up routines", according to Cook's memo. Cook first announced the hybrid work model in June, with the company aiming for a September return to the office. 

The return has been moved back multiple times, with the spread of COVID in the US stopping plans for October and January returns. Apple's version of the hybrid model also received some strong push back from employees who called for more flexibility in an internal letter addressed to Cook. 

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Despite many of the tools and services used for remote working being developed by the tech giants, the firms themselves have struggled to define their own working from home policies. Microsoft and Google have also offered up cautious ideas about remote working, with the former concerned about video call fatigue.

Google's plans have mirrored Apple's in that its plans to return have been hampered by the COVID situation in America. Currently, the company plans to re-evaluate its decision in the new year

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