Apple delays return-to-office indefinitely, provides $1,000 ‘work at home’ bonus

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Apple has postponed its return date for personal work from February 1, 2022 to “a date yet to be determined”.

That emerges from a memo that Apple Inc. AAPL, -3.93% CEO Tim Cook, sent to employees on Wednesday, which was viewed by Bloomberg and verified by a company spokesman.

Cook said the date of returning to the tech company’s office has been postponed due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, as well as the rise of the Omicron variant. He also recommended that Apple employees get COVID vaccines and booster shots, which he described as “by far the best way to keep you and your community safe”.

In addition, the company is giving Apple employees a $ 1,000 “work from home” bonus to help keep their home office “free,” Cook wrote.

Apple has already delayed repatriations several times this year as more contagious variants of COVID-19 such as the Delta and Omicron variants have risen, postponing earlier plans for a return in October and January 2022.

Workers will be informed in physical rooms four weeks before returning to work. And they will follow a hybrid model of working in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and working from home on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Apple also announced that it will temporarily close three retail stores in Miami; Annapolis, Maryland; and Ottawa, Ontario this week due to an increase in COVID cases among employees in these stores. This follows colleges and universities like Cornell, Princeton, and George Washington rescheduling final exams online and canceling in-person events and activities in response to COVID outbreaks on their campus.

Related: Cornell is closing its campus in part due to more than 900 COVID-19 cases in a possible Omicron outbreak

Plus: George Washington University is canceling in-person events and postponing exams after more than 400 COVID-19 cases online

And Apple isn’t the only company postponing its back-to-office appointment. Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. FB, -1.98%, recently said it will fully reopen its US offices in late January, but employees can postpone returning to the office until June 2022.

And alphabets GOOGLE, -1.36% Google, Ford Co. F, + 0.79%, and Lyft LYFT, -2.50% have also been delayed when employees return to work in person have to.

There are an average of about 1,300 COVID deaths per day and about 120,000 new cases in the United States, according to a tracker for the New York Times. The heads of state and government of the European Union met on Thursday to coordinate a response to the spread of the Omikron variant across the continent.

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