Apple Employees Will Have to Return to the Office 3 Days a Week

Apple is mandating a return to office for at least three days a week, starting Sept. 5.

The company, which recently dropped its mask mandate at “most locations,” initially called for a return to the office in September 2021, but that plan was thwarted by COVID-19 surges and worker pushback. Now, Apple will require folks to work from the office on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and a regular third day determined by individual teams, Bloomberg reports(Opens in a new window)—a slight shift from CEO Tim Cook’s June 2021 plan for in-person Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.

The idea was that staffers could work from home (or a coffee shop, library, etc.) two days a week, while teams that require in-person activity would come in four or five days. Employees, however, were not impressed, arguing that the proposed remote/location-flexible work policy didn’t sufficiently address their needs, and even “forced” some people to quit.

The hybrid policy will take effect in three weeks—first in Santa Clara Valley, where many of Apple’s main offices are housed, before spreading to more sites (based on current COVID-19 conditions).

“We are excited to move forward with the pilot and believe that this revised framework will enhance our ability to work flexibly, while preserving the in-person collaboration that is so essential to our culture,” Cook wrote in a memo published by The Verge(Opens in a new window). “And we are committed to listening, adapting, and growing together in the weeks and months ahead.”

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It’s been a long and winding road through the pandemic, during which many firms discovered the perks of at-home employment and began building it into their operations—Apple included. The Cupertino-based tech giant now offers up to two weeks of remote work per year.