Apple CEO Tim Cook emailed employees to inform them that they are expected to return to their offices for at least three days each week starting in September. Most of Apple’s employees have been working from home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but some of the firm’s Asian offices have already reopened.
“For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: Each other,” Mr. Cook wrote. “Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”
To optimize in-person collaboration, Apple is requiring employees to adopt what Cook calls “consistent days in the office.” That is, rather than allowing employees to determine which three days they come to the office, Apple expects most to do so on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, at a minimum, and they can work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays. Additionally, Apple’s employees can work remotely for two full weeks each year going forward.
Apple’s in-office requirements seem stricter than the rules imposed by its Big Tech rivals. Google, for example, will allow most employees to work from home for at least three days each week. And Microsoft is offering even more flexible choices, with most employees able to choose between working remotely, working in a hybrid model, or returning to the offices full-time.