Apple is reportedly delaying its return to office work as COVID cases surge

Tim Cook Apple Park Background
Tim Cook Apple Park Background (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple is reportedly pushing its return to the office back a month following a surge in COVID-19 cases around the world..
  • Employees will now be expected back into the office in October.

Apple has reportedly decided to delay the date that it expects its employees to be back in the office as a result of surging COVID-19 cases around the world. Apple had initially told employees that they would need to be back at their desks in September.

The move, reported by Bloomberg, comes as Apple continues to come under pressure from employees regarding the hybrid work model Apple has put in place. Employees will be allowed to work from home two days per week, but having worked from home for a year those working at Apple believe they should be allowed to continue to do so if they want.

For now, they're getting their wish.

The iPhone maker becomes one of the first U.S. tech giants to delay plans for a return to normality as Covid-19 persists around the world and cases involving a highly transmissible variant increase. Apple will give its employees at least a month's warning before mandating a return to offices, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policy.

It's also possible that Apple will use the extra month to iron out issues that saw employees write a second letter to CEO Tim Cook, urging a rethink of the hybrid work model.

Apple was ahead of the curve when it came to closing offices and retail stores during the initial COVID-19 outbreak. While we haven't heard anything about closing stores so far, it's something that must remain a possibility as the pandemic has its second wind.

Apple will surely have been hoping for a different outcome. It has a busy few months ahead with iPhone 13 just the tip of the iceberg. It's set to be the best iPhone yet and will likely be joined by new Apple Watches, iPads, and Macs before the year comes to a close.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.