Apple has postponed its plan to return to face-to-face work because of the increase in COVID cases caused by the Delta variant, according to Bloomberg.
The company had designed a plan to return to its offices in early September, with employees expected at the company at least three days a week, but now that deadline has supposedly been extended “by at least a month to October at the very least.”
Apple’s return to the offices created a lot of controversy among many of its employees. A group of workers on an internal Slack channel call themselves “remote work advocates”, this same group wrote a letter to CEO Tim Cook and other Apple staff, arguing that the company should adopt a more flexible work-at-home policy .
Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s vice president, responded to the request by saying “face-to-face collaboration is essential to our culture and our future.”
Apple was notoriously flexible to the pre-pandemic teleworking concept, allowing its employees to work from home two days a week, which created a big change for the company. Silicon Valley giants are giving workers more options to choose where to do their jobs.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, for example, said last year that he sees about half of his company permanently moving to teleworking in the next five to ten years.
Google said it expects 20% of employees to continue to work remotely once their offices are opened again.
Now it seems Apple is one of the first companies to change its plans in response to the emergence of COVID cases. Employees will receive at least one month’s notice prior to returning to personal work, according to Bloomberg.