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Apple further delays office return to 2022

This is because of a surge in new COVID-19 cases linked with the Delta variant

Allie Nawrat

apple delays return to office
Credit: CLAUDIA82 via Twenty20.

Will other employers follow suit? Unleash Your Curiosity

Over the past month or so, US employers’ plans to get their workers back by Labor Day on Monday 6 September have largely been scrapped.

Many companies, including Apple, Facebook and Google’s parent company Alphabet, decided to delay their return to the office by one month. However, now many have moved to delay even further until 2022 because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.

return to office stats
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID data tracker

Amazon and Facebook announced they were doing this in early August for its corporate employees, but now Apple has followed suit.

In a memo to employees seen by Bloomberg, senior management at Apple said they would confirm the exact timeline for the return a month before employees would be expected to start working in the office again.

Apple employees have been pushing back against returning to the office three days a week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays) since the tech giant first announced the original September re-opening in June.

Instead, many Apple employees want greater flexibility around when and where they work; they want decisions to be made on a team by team, rather than one-size-fits-all basis.

While it has been almost a month since Facebook announced its 2022 return to office plans – which came two months after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he would personally be working from home until the middle of 2022 – it has been reported that this rule doesn’t seem to apply to contractors.

CNBC found that the return to office delay hasn’t been extended to some contractors, including those working for Accenture.

But, in a statement shared with CNBC, a Facebook spokesperson wrote: “While the majority of full-time employees and contingent workers for Facebook continue working from home, some have returned to offices that have reopened at reduced capacities with strict health and safety standards in place.

“A person’s status as a full-time employee or a contingent worker does not factor into whether or not they can work from home due to the global pandemic.”

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