Apple delays mandatory return to office until January 2022, citing COVID-19 surge

San Francisco: Apple has delayed return to office until at least January 2022, as the US witnesses a surge in cases of the delta variant of Covid-19.



In the spring, as COVID-19 vaccination rates rose and the pandemic ebbed, employers began planning to bring workers back to the office, anticipating a broad return to some semblance of "normal," or at least traditional work life, by early September.


But with the rise of the highly contagious Delta variant, some major corporations are now putting those plans on hold and extending the work-from-home period well into October and even to January 2022, out of concern for employees' health and safety.


"I know there are feeling of frustration that the pandemic is not yet behind us. For many colleagues around the world, this period has been a time of great tragedy, suffering, and heartbreak. Please know that we are all here to support one another and stand with one another during such challenging times," said, Deirdre O'Brien, senior vice president of people and retail.


“For many colleagues around the world, this period has been a time of great tragedy, suffering, and heartbreak. Please know that we are all here to support one another and stand with one another during such challenging times.”

In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook had said that employees would need to return to offices three days a week starting in early September. That date was then moved to at least October.


Some employees have pushed back against Apple's hybrid model at workplace.


Earlier, Facebook also delayed its return-to-office plans till early next year.


Microsoft has also pushed its full office reopening date from September to "no earlier than October 4, 2021".


Twitter has shut offices in US, and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will require employees to be vaccinated before returning to the office in the later part of the year.


Amazon has also announced to delay its return-to-office timeline by January 2022.


 

Then there are companies at which the majority of workers are already back at their desks, particularly on Wall Street, whose leaders have been staunch advocates of returning to the office.


Workers at investment bank Goldman Sachs began returning to their desks on June 14. More than a month later, about 60% of the company's workers are back in the office.


Morgan Stanley, whose CEO James Gorman warned employees that he'd be "very disappointed, if they didn't returned to the office by September.


-Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman On His Return-To-Work Plan: "If You Can Go To A Restaurant In New York City, You Can Come Into The Office"


The US continues to be the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 37,291,739 and 625,153, respectively.