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Apple delays return to the office until January 2022 amid COVID-19 surge

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Effects of the current COVID-19 surge are evident in tech giant Apple’s announcement that they will delay reopening their offices. Some had seen a glimmer of hope in Apple’s earlier statements that they were working to have their staff back in their offices by September 2021. This latest announcement makes it clear that no organization, no matter how powerful it may be, can escape the effects of the global pandemic.

Apple was one of the first titans of business to release its return-to-work plan for its employees. It was speculated that many other global companies had taken notes and were considering on following suit. The company’s initial plan for reintegrating employees back into the workplace proposed a hybrid work model of three days within the office and remote work on two days. With the news that Apple has put a halt to those plans, many are wondering if other industry giants will do the same.

The rigidity of these plans incited pushback from Apple employees as they tried to gain some control over their schedule. It was amid this pushback that the news broke out of Apple’s plans to delay the return of their staff until January 2022. Despite the timing, it is clear that this decision was made due to the current surge of COVID-19 cases rather than employee grievances.

Facebook, the social networking company, also delayed its return-to-office plans until early next year. Microsoft has postponed its full office reopening date to October 2021. Amazon has also announced to push its return-to-office timeline by January 2022.

Apple has confirmed that they will give their employees one month’s notice before reopening their doors. Despite its changing schedules and proposed timelines, Apple retail stores remain open. The company has been vocal in supporting the COVID-19 vaccine and has encouraged all of its employees to get vaccinated.

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