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Apple sets a date for its return to the office

Apple joins Google and Microsoft in introducing new hybrid-work arrangements.
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Written by Liam Tung, Contributor on

Apple has announced plans to bring employees back to the office starting on April 11 after deferring the date indefinitely as the Omicron variant spread across the country. 

In December, Apple deferred its return-to-work effort and gave all employees a $1,000 bonus that it encouraged them to spend on remote-working equipment. It had previously targeted February 1 for corporate staff to return to physical workspaces and was piloting a hybrid-work arrangement where staff could come to the office one or two days per week. 

Apple also on Thursday announced it would resume in-person classes at Apple stores on March 7 for the first time since the start of the pandemic. 

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Per The Verge, Apple chief Tim Cook detailed the company's hybrid pilot in a memo to staff. Beginning on April 11, Apple will require staff to come in just once a week, and by the third week employees will come in twice a week. On May 23, staff will have to come to the office on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and would have the option to work from home on Wednesday and Friday. 

Cook noted that staff may have mixed feelings about returning to the office. 

"For many of you, I know that returning to the office represents a long-awaited milestone and a positive sign that we can engage more fully with the colleagues who play such an important role in our lives," he wrote. 

"For others, it may also be an unsettling change. I want you to know that we are deeply committed to giving you the support and flexibility that you need in this next phase." 

The hybrid plan includes an option for staff to work remotely for up to four weeks a year. 

Google last week also announced its return to work policy for staff and will also implement a hybrid plan. From April 4, Google employees will be required to be in the office for three days a week in some US, UK and Asia Pacific locations. Google is also requiring office teams to be fully vaccinated or exempt. Employees can also apply to work from home on a permanent basis. Staff that are fully vaccinated won't have to wear masks in the Bay Area offices. 

Microsoft in February announced its Washington state campuses would fully reopen from February 28. Microsoft gave employees 30 days from February 28 to "make adjustments to their routines and adopt the working preferences they've agreed upon with their managers."

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