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Apple Sets April 11 Date for Global Return To Office

Shane Snider

The company will use a staggered hybrid phase in to ease employees back into the routine, CEO Tim Cook wrote in a letter to employees.

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Apple Inc. announced Friday its plan to send its massive global workforce back to the office in phases starting April 11 after two years of pandemic-related disruptions, a company spokesperson confirmed.

In a letter to employees obtained and published by The Verge, CEO Tim Cook detailed a hybrid work pilot plan, with workers coming into the office Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. The rest of the week, employees could work “flexibly.”

“For many of you, I know that returning to the office represents a long-awaited milestone and a positive sign that we can engage for fully with the colleagues who play such an important role in our lives,” he wrote. “For others, it may also be an unsettling change. I want you to know that we are deeply committed to giving you the support and flexibility that you need in this next phase.”

Apple employs more than 80,000 people in the U.S. corporate employees who were ordered to work at home at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 – which was a big move for a company that prides itself on in-person collaboration. Globally, the tech giant employs more than 150,000 people directly.

Apple has delayed the back-to-office order several times, most recently in February because of surging COVID19 numbers. Google announced its return to office would happen April 4. Across the U.S., pandemic restrictions for work and schools have been easing as numbers of the Omicron COVID19 variant continue to decline.

“As we begin this pilot, we are looking forward to learning as we go and adjusting where we need to, all in service of fostering a really collaborative and flexible approach to our work together,” Cook wrote. “In the coming weeks and months, we have an opportunity to combine the best of what we have learned about working remotely with the irreplaceable benefits of in-person collaboration.”

Cook noted that Apple retail stores will be mask-optional “over the next few weeks.” Apple stores have been open, but occupancy has been restricted and masks required.

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