Apple originally planned to bring back its employees to its corporate campuses in Cupertino on Feb. 1, 2022. But on Dec. 15, the tech giant delayed the office return indefinitely due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The announcement was sent out to employees in an email from CEO Tim Cook, where he also said the company is giving corporate and retail employees a $1,000 bonus to spend on their work-from-home needs.
Hybrid work setup
In June, Cook announced a hybrid work model where workers will be asked to return to the office three days a week and work from home the other two. This setup was scheduled for September, then moved to October, January, February, and now, an undetermined date.
Employees, however, pushed back against the hybrid model, asking for a more flexible approach where those who want to work remotely can do so.
"Apple’s remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit. Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple," the letter from employees obtained by The Verge read.
Aside from delaying the return to offices, Apple has closed three retail stores in the United States and has started requiring customers to wear masks inside stores again this December. It's said to be due to the growing COVID-19 cases in the country.
On Dec. 15, the US logged 144,372 new COVID-19 infections.