Apple’s return to office delayed indefinitely – invests in staff instead

Getting 'back to normal' looks like it's being pushed back yet again

Apple return to office

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With politicians avoiding the Covid-elephant in the room and giving conflicting advice backed with suggestions rather than rules, it’s up to businesses to make responsible decisions for their employees. According to NBC News journalist Zoe Schiffer, a return to work for Apple is “yet to be determined” with the tech giant giving corporate employees a $1000 allowance for home office equipment.

Apparently, retail employees will be getting the $1000 bonus too, it’s nice to be nice, right? Apple originally had early February pegged for a hybrid working scheme that would see employees balance home and office working. A Monday to Friday working week would see Apple employees work from home on Wednesday and Fridays, but the new Covid-19 Omicron variant has put these plans on hold once again. Employees were supposed to originally return to the office in a hybrid capacity from June, which was then delayed to September, October, and then January 2022.
Even Apple retail employees, such as Apple’s Fifth Avenue location, will receive a $1000 bonus. Credit: Apple

Alongside Apple putting hybrid working on hold, they’ve also announced that all of their stores will require its customers to wear masks in the US. Apple seems to be taking Covid-19 very seriously with them also shutting three stores due to rising cases amongst employees. Google has gone one step further by putting unvaccinated staff on “paid administrative leave”, which will eventually lead to their job being terminated.

Whilst tech giants such as Apple, Google, and Microsoft have also reacted in a way that shows their compassion for employees, it seems that other businesses are focused on profits and targets over employee safety.

Just last weekend, publishing giant Future PLC came under fire for advising their 1500+ workforce that working from home during this current time wouldn’t be an option, suggesting that “there is a cost to our business of prolonged working from home”. Just hours after a public backlash, the decision was reversed with Future’s chief people officer, Hazel Boyle stating to staff that she wanted to “clarify that this is not a mandatory requirement”.