Apple Seeks Staff Return To The Office

Apple has followed Google and told its staff members that it wants them to return to offices by early September.

The return to work notice came in a company-wide email sent to staff by Tim Cook on Wednesday, the Verge reported.

Apple staff are being asked to return to their desks for at least three days a week, signalling Apple’s more conservative approach to remote working.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook at WWDC 2020. Image credit: Apple

Office working

“For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other,” Tim Cook was quoted by the Verge as saying. “Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”

Cook reportedly said that most employees will be asked to come in to the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with the option of working remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

However teams that need to work in-person will return to the office four to five days a week.

And it seems that Apple staff will also have the chance to work remotely for up to two weeks a year, “to be closer to family and loved ones, find a change of scenery, manage unexpected travel, or a different reason all your own,” according to the letter.

Managers will need to approve remote work requests.

The change is not entirely unexpected for Apple staff, the Verge reported, as Apple is known for discouraging working from home prior to Coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

Tech rivals

The issue of remote working at the moment varies depending on the company involved.

Google in April began accelerating the partial reopening of offices in the United States, and sought to get staff to return to the office at least three days a week.

But a month later in May the firm backtracked somewhat and offered staff more flexible options for working at the office or home. It also announced that 20 percent of its workforce would be able to work from home permanently.

Twitter however has promised to allow staff to remote work indefinitely if they want.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted in May 2020 that 50 percent of the company’s employees could be working remotely over the next decade.

Facebook also allows employees to work remotely full time and relocate, but those employees may have their compensation adjusted based on their new locations.

This gives some staff the option to relocate to US states where the cost of housing is more reasonable than it is in California.

Microsoft recently announced that it will allow staff who work at its Redmond sites and nearby campuses, to choose between returning to work full time, continuing to work remotely, or opting for a hybrid model.

Last October Microsoft had told staff it would allow more flexibility to work from home, even after it was safe to return to the office.

Microsoft staff can also ask their managers if they want to work remotely full time, or to potentially move to a new location.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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