Amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases due to highly contagious variants, technology giant Apple has reportedly decided to push back a return to the office for its workers.
Those employees won’t return to the office until at least October, according to a Bloomberg News report citing sources that published Tuesday. The iPhone maker
is expected to give a month’s notice before telling its workers when they need to return, the sources said. A spokesperson from Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In early June, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook told employees to prepare to return at least three days a week from early September, saying video conferencing couldn’t replace much needed face-to-face interactions. Workers were to return Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with the option of working from home on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Some are concerned Apple could be the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to companies forced to rethink office returns. “Many more could follow as the spread of variants continue to act as a curveball for the return to normality,” said a team of strategists at Deutsche Bank led by Jim Reid, in a note to clients on Tuesday.
Millions of tech workers have slowly been making their way back to offices as vaccines reach millions and states lift restrictions. Big banks such as JP Morgan
and Goldman Sachs
have been pushing hard for employees to come back.
But those plans to get back to normal may be facing complications amid a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, driven more recently by the highly infectious delta strain that has hit unvaccinated individuals, but also some who have been fully dosed. The result has caused confusion, such as in the U.S. where some states have been easing mandates while others return to restrictions — Los Angeles County was forced to reintroduce an indoor mask mandate recently.