Tim Cook says most employees won't return to the office until June 2021

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

What you need to know

  • Tim Cook says that most corporate Apple employees will not return to the office until June 2021.
  • The CEO also said that remote work would become more of a norm moving forward.

Update, December 10 (8:30 pm ET): Apple used augmented reality and robots to enable its product launches this year.

Reported by Bloomberg, Apple's Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook says most of its corporate employees will not return to the office until at least June of next year. In a virtual town hall with Apple employees on Thursday, Cook shared details about the company's plans on returning to the office and said that this year proved remote work could become more of a norm moving forward.

Cook said it "seems likely" that the majority of teams won't be back before June 2021. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant has historically had an office-centric culture, but the CEO implied that the company's success this year during the pandemic lockdown could enable more flexibility to work remotely in the future.

Despite this newfound flexibility, Cook also reiterated his belief that "there's no replacement for face-to-face collaboration."

"There's no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results," he told staff, according to people familiar with the comments. "All of these learnings are important. When we're on the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while incorporating the best of our transformations this year."

Apple's corporate employees are normally off the week between Christmas and New Year's, and Cook announced that they would extend the paid holiday until January 4.

Cook added that because of the challenges over the past several months, Apple will be giving employees in many regions an additional paid holiday scheduled for Jan 4. Other companies, including Alphabet Inc.'s Google, have also given staff an additional paid day off recently.

The news about returning to Apple Park wasn't the only news during Thursday's town hall meeting. The company also announced that it was beginning to work on its own cellular modem, a shift that will eventually break Apple's need for Qualcomm to supply the modem for the iPhone.

Update, December 10 (8:30 pm ET) — Apple used augmented reality and robots to enable its product launches this year.

During the town hall meeting with employees on Thursday, Dan Riccio, Apple's Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering, said that COVID-19 had a major impact on the company's product launch cycle and that they resorted to using AR, robots, and more to make the launches possible.

Apple hardware head Dan Riccio told staff that Covid-19 and travel restrictions hitting in March complicated product launches as that's when Apple travels to China to ramp up for fall. The company used AR, late hours, China staff and robots to get it done

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.