Bloomberg reports that Apple has decided to postpone employees’ return to offices in September by a month. The decision is taken due to the spread of a new COVID-19 variant ‘Delta’ around the world. Although countries are carryout extensive COVID-19 vaccination drives, the new variant of the coronavirus is highly transmissible in the vaccinated individuals as well.
In June, CEO Tim Cook announced the hybrid return to office plan starting from September which required employees to come to the office for three days and work remotely for two days a week. However, employees complained that it was too soon for a physical return to offices and requested to continue with the remote work model as it was productive. When Apple’s senior management refused to budge from the announced policy, the employees wrote another letter requesting to delay the return to the office over concern about rising COVID-19 cases of the new Delta variant.
As the more deadly COVID-19 Delta variant spreads world, Apple pushes return to office to October
As per the report, the new Delta variant is more deadly and highly transmissible which has caused great concerns amongst U.S health officials of a COVID-19 vaccination reversal. Therefore, Apple is taking pre-emptive steps by postponing the return to office by a month.
Yet even with half the U.S. vaccinated, Covid-19 continues to kill people faster than guns, car crashes and influenza combined, according to a Bloomberg review of mortality data. After 10 weeks of global declines in Covid deaths, the highly transmissible delta variant is driving a new uptick. In the U.S., health officials have warned that a similar reversal may be underway: Daily cases have doubled from a low point last month, and hospitalizations are rising again.
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.
In addition, the company is also testing a ‘Flex Retail’ hybrid for retail employees as it is estimated that the online shopping trends are likely to continue post COVID-19 pandemic.