Apple has laid out a formal plan to begin bringing all of its staff back to the office following more than a year of remote work prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a memo sent to employees today, Tim Cook outlined that Apple expects staff to return to the office three days a week starting in early September. A hybrid approach will be taken until at least 2022.
In the memo, obtained by The Verge as well as Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Cook wrote that most employees will be asked to come into the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. They will be able to work remotely, if they so desire, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Certain teams will be required to return to in-person work four to five days per week, according to Cook.
“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,” he said. “Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”
Cook also noted in the email that employees will be able to work remotely for up to two weeks per year, in addition to the weekly schedule. this will allow employees “to be closer to family and loved ones, find a change of scenery, manage unexpected travel, or a different reason all your own.”
This hybrid approach is being considered a “pilot,” according to Cook, and will be reevaluated sometime in 2022.
“For now, let me simply say that I look forward to seeing your faces,” he said in closing. “I know I’m not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we’ve all built.”
As The Verge explains, this approach is more relaxed than Apple traditionally has been toward remote work. It still, however, is more stringent than other tech giants such as Google and Facebook, who will allow a larger percentage of employees to work remotely indefinitely.
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