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Apple appears to be making a reluctant effort to embrace remote working after COVID-19 wanes, according to a memo shared with workers from CEO Tim Cook.

Three steps forward, two steps back

We know Apple prefers a highly traditional presence-based working environment. Despite this, it was forced to begin working remotely during the pandemic, and its staffers have excelled in what they  achieved.

Apple had originally anticipated a return to the office starting in June, but this proved overly optimistic. That return now begins in early September, Cook said. The memo reflects quite a shift in Apple’s approach, first signalled in April when Cook said:

“It seems like many companies will be operating in a hybrid kind of mode…. It would seem that work from home and the productivity of working from home will remain very critical.”

Hybrid working v.1

While I don’t think it goes quite far enough, Cook’s memo reveals this first attempt to support remote work across Apple’s business indicates this should be seen as a “pilot” scheme that will be re-assessed in 2022.

Under this first iteration, the company wants employees to begin working from its offices for at least three days each week starting in September, the memo said. They will be expected in the office on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and will be able to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays. Some teams will be required to be on site all of the time.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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