Apple reportedly told corporate employees on Thursday their expected return to the office would be delayed until January amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 and new variants.
The iPhone maker said in a memo to employees it would confirm its reopening timeline a month before employees are expected to return to the office, Bloomberg reported late Thursday. The new delay comes a month after Apple told employees they would be expected back in the office in October, which followed an earlier return target of September.
The company’s offices have largely sat empty for the past year, its employees are working remotely, as businesses all over the world shuttered facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But as cases initially dipped, Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly told employees in June they would be expected to return to the office three days a week.
The resurgence of COVID and especially the emergence of the delta variant has led tech companies to reconsider their reopening plans. Apple employees have been especially vocal in pressing for a delay, saying decisions on the frequency of remote work should be left up to individual teams and that there shouldn’t be a “one-size-fits-all policy.”
The company has said internally that it believes in-person collaboration is an essential part of its culture.