Image credits: Laurenz Heymann
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News Article

Apple Delays Return to Offices Globally

By Cinthya Alaniz Salazar | Mon, 08/23/2021 - 05:00

Apple informed its global workforce via memo that they will not be expected to return to corporate offices until January 2022, citing concerns over the Delta variant that has driven the latest COVID-19 surge.

This applies to the 130,000 Mexican employees, who saw record case numbers this week in their home country. In August 18, the country reported 28,952 new COVID-19 cases, tallying just over 251,000 deaths according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Apple employees were originally supposed to return to the office in early September, but this was later pushed back to October. Now, as COVID-19 cases grow globally the company has opted to once again delay a full return until January—and even this is tentative. According to the memo, employees would be notified with at least one month’s notice before they are expected to return to the office.

Apple’s retail stores and offices, however, are to remain open as of now, at least according to Deirdre O’Brien, Senior Vice President of People and Retail in an internal email. She also strongly encouraged employees to get vaccinated in light of how the pandemic has extended and new COVID-19 variants keep emerging.

“I know there are feelings of frustration that the pandemic is not yet behind us,” she wrote. “For many colleagues around the world, this period has been a time of great tragedy, suffering and heartbreak. Please know that we are all here to support one another and stand with one another during such challenging times.”

Apple is one of many tech companies that have postponed initial plans to return to the office. Amazon announced that staff will remain working remotely until January 3 earlier this month. Google said it would be extending voluntary work from home until October 18 after it had outlined plans for a return in September. Lyft said it does not expect office staff to return until after February 2022.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Apple, WHO, Google, Lyft
Photo by:   Laurenz Heymann
Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Cinthya Alaniz Salazar Journalist & Industry Analyst