Apple delays plan to return staff to office three days a week after California Covid surge

Apple delayed plans to bring workers back to the office three days a week as COVID cases in its home state of California spiked again.

The tech company blamed recent Covid-19 surges in California for delaying the three-day-a-week requirement. Workers still have to come two days a week, but it’s unclear when the three-day-a-week rule will be enforced.

Apple informed employees on Tuesday that it was delaying the three-day-a-week in-office requirement, which was due to take effect May 23, Bloomberg reported.

Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California is pictured above. The company has delayed plans to bring employees back to the office three days a week citing Covid surges

Ian Goodfellow, Apple's director of machine learning, has resigned in protest at their policies forcing people back into their offices three days a week

Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s director of machine learning, has resigned in protest at their policies forcing people back into their offices three days a week

A memo distributed to Apple employees said the requirement was delayed “for now,” but did not include a new start date.

The now-suspended plan required employees to work from the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Employees have been coming to Apple’s office two days a week since April, and there’s been no indication the requirement will be changed.

Apple blamed surging Covid-19 cases as the reason for delaying the requirement, but the three-day-a-week plan has been controversial among staff since it was announced.

Former Apple machine learning director Ian Goodfellow made headlines in May when he quit his job in protest at the company’s three-day-a-week requirement.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen at the company's headquarters in Cupertino.  He insisted on bringing employees back to the office

Apple CEO Tim Cook is seen at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. He insisted on bringing employees back to the office

In his resignation note, Goodfellow insisted that office flexibility was best for his team.

“I strongly believe that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,” he said, according to The edge.

Goodfellow isn’t the only Apple employee unhappy with the office’s new demands. An April 13-19 survey of workers found 67% said they were unhappy with the return-to-work policy, Fortune reported.

California has become a hotbed for a resurgence of Covid-19 in recent weeks, with the New York times reporting an average of 8,925 over the past seven days – a peak of 37% of cases compared to the average two weeks ago.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has been adamant about getting his employees back to work, insisting that a hardware-heavy company like Apple needs its employees physically together to design its physical products.

At the beginning of March, he wrote to the staff to tell them that he had to prepare to return.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we have the opportunity to combine the best of what we’ve learned about working remotely with the irreplaceable benefits of in-person collaboration,” Cook said in the memo, according to Bloomberg.

California has seen an increase in Covid cases in recent weeks.  There has been a 37% increase in cases over the past two weeks

California has seen an increase in Covid cases in recent weeks. There has been a 37% increase in cases over the past two weeks

Apple CEO Tim Cook insists that a hardware company like Apple needs its employees to be in the office to collaborate on the design of its physical products

Apple CEO Tim Cook insists that a hardware company like Apple needs its employees to be in the office to collaborate on the design of its physical products

Many employees insist, however, that they can do the work remotely just as well and don’t want to lose their work-life balance.

“It all happened with us working from home all day, and now we have to go back to the office, sit in traffic for two hours and hire people to take care of the children at home,” an anonymous person said. former Apple employee. Bloomberg in April, “Working from home has so many benefits.” Why would we want to go back there?

Employees were quick to point out that while they spend their days designing products that enable working from home around the world, they need to get back to the office.

“We tell all of our customers how great our products are for remote work, but we can’t use them for remote work ourselves?” a open letter signed by more than 1,050 Apple employees read.

“How can we expect our customers to take this seriously? How can we understand what remote work issues need to be addressed in our products if we don’t experience it? »

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