Tech titan Apple announced it will delay its plans to have employees return to the office. In addition, Apple gave all corporate and retail employees $1,000 to buy equipment for their work-from-home arrangement.
Apple Delays Its Return To The Office
CEO Tim Cook announced the delay in returning to the office via email to Apple employees. The makers of the iPhone, iPad and MacBooks did not give a timetable for the suspension of plans to return to the office.
For now, the company has yet to determine the new date where its workers can report to their desks. However, the $1,000 allowance might indicate that the company is prepared to ride out the pandemic.
Or, it can mean that Apple is finally accepting the reality of a hybrid work system, where employees can alternate between working remotely and reporting to the office.
Apple specified that the $1,000 gift it gave to its workers should go towards home office equipment.
Apple Rolls Back Plans To Return To The Office by January
Previously, the Silicon Valley titan said it would implement a new hybrid work environment by February.
However, the recent surge in COVID-19 cases plus the appearance of the Omicron strain changed all that. As a result, the Apple CEO is now saying that Apple will indefinitely delay their hybrid work pilot.
Cook did point out that other Apple employees in different regions are resuming normal operations. “Our offices remain open and many of our colleagues are coming in regularly, including our teams in Greater China and elsewhere,” said Cook.
Flexibility Is the Key
After two years of trying to figure out an effective work arrangement during a pandemic, Apple is finally getting the message. Retaining flexibility in work arrangements is the key to ensuring continuity.
Many see this as a turnaround for Apple. Earlier during the pandemic, the company was one of the most eager companies to have workers return to the office.
As a result, both its employees and the public showed their displeasure with the firm’s zeal.
Now, even as Apple wants workers back at their desks, Apply realizes that setting a target date of return to the office is wishful thinking. The COVID pandemic remains unpredictable.
In addition, the Great Resignation movement among workers continues. Specifically, the movement targets rigid companies unwilling to offer flexibility in work schedules and setup.
COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise
The Silicon Valley giant’s announcement comes amid another wave of Covid-19 cases across the US. Concerns about the spread of the Omicron variant are also growing.
Earlier this week, the company brought back mask mandates for store guests. Apple also plans to close some stores in anticipation of another surge in cases.
Other companies took notice of the rise in COVID cases as well. Google, Lyft, Amazon, and Uber all suspended plans to return to the office.
In addition, companies such as Google and Facebook also gave their workers $1,000 bonuses to help with remote work expenses.
Watch the ABC News video reporting that Apple delays return to office in response to new COVID-19 surge:
How soon do you see workers returning to the office for good? When do you think is the most realistic timetable for businesses to normalize?
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