July 14, 2024

Apple delayed a plan to require workers to come back to the office three days a week, citing a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, marking the latest setback in its efforts to return to normal. The company informed employees Tuesday that it’s delaying the requirement, which had been slated to go into effect on May 23, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. However, the company is still expecting workers to come to the office two days per week. The company said the requirement is being delayed for “the time being” and didn’t provide a new date.

Apple was set to require employees to work from the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning next week — a policy that had been controversial among some staff. Already, employees have been coming in two days a week as part of a ramp-up effort that began in April. For now, that mandate isn’t changing.

The company also told staff that they must again wear masks in common areas — at least in Silicon Valley offices. Separately, retail employees were informed Tuesday that about 100 US stores will again require mask wearing by staff members as well. Apple had dropped that requirement in March when cases eased.

A spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based tech giant declined to comment.

While the delay is related to COVID-19’s recent rebound, some Apple employees have complained about the return-to-work plan, saying that it limits productivity. They’ve said that commute time takes away hours that could be put toward their work. Employees have also complained that the office return ignored the lack of a vaccine for young children.

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