As Covid-19 cases rise again, Apple has again delayed its return to office plan.
Apple has delayed its plan to get workers back into the office for three days per week.
According to Bloomberg, Apple executives told employees that the plan, set to take effect on May 23, was being put on ice for “the time being” as Covid-19 cases rise again across the US. No new date was provided.
The memo added that masks are now mandatory in common spaces across Apple’s Silicon Valley offices. The company also reintroduced a mask mandate in around 100 US stores, after dropping the requirement in March.
The policy had already proved controversial with Apple employees, including causing the company’s director of machine learning, Ian Goodfellow, to quit, directly citing the work from home policies as a cause. Interestingly, Goodfellow is now reported to have joined Alphabet’s DeepMind unit, which presumably has a more relaxed approach to returning to the office.
Employees had expressed concerns over the policies for some time – with Goodfellow’s being the most obvious – citing concerns around commuting time taking time away from working.
Apple did not respond to Bloomberg’s request for comment.
A tricky problem
Apple is between something of a rock and a hard place with its policies, having been forced into remote work by the pandemic. The company is famously hands-on, especially for its design teams, which sits at odds with home work.
Added to that, Apple also spent billions building the landmark Apple Park campus, which resembles a huge spaceship, likely adding to the desire by executives to get workers back into the building.