Apple has pushed its return to office date by a month due to the resurgence of a new highly transmissible Delta variant of coronavirus. Now, Josh Lipton of CNBC reports that the company might consider a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for employees returning to offices in October.
Google has announced that all employees returning to offices must be vaccinated. Like Apple, the search engine giant has also delayed its return to office schedule by a month and has also instructed all of its 130,000 employees to get vaccinated. It can be assumed that other tech companies will follow suit. However, Facebook and Twitter both had already extended the remote work model for an indefinite time period.
Apple’s return to work plan marred by uncertainty
In June a very excited CEO, Tim Cook shared the company’s return to office plan with employees. Starting from September, employees were to come three days to the office (Monday, Tuesday, and Friday) and 2 days to work remotely in a week.
“For now, let me simply say that I look forward to seeing your faces. I know I’m not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we’ve all built.”
Insisting on collaborative work, the company did not change the return to office schedule when employees pushed back. But the spread of the Delta variant has made Apple reconsider its policy. Mr. Cook told Lipton that at the moment, the company is considering when to come back and has not decided if it will make vaccination a requirement.
“…our main focus right now is on when to come back…we pushed it from early September to at least October…we are monitoring things daily to really conclude whether that is the right answer or not” https://t.co/zhBqwocynm
— Josh Lipton (@CNBCJosh) July 28, 2021
Recently at the Q3 2021 earnings call Jim Suva, an analyst at Citi, questioned Mr. Cook on the impact of unforeseen circumstances. Mr. Cook said that the company has been resilient.
But we look at a world of pretty unprecedented, whether it be COVID, the Delta variant, China flood, supply chain components, just wondering for your like R&D and innovation, is it being materially impacted by that such where a normal cadence is unfair? Or is it kind of happening during a slow time of year where you’re able to empower people to work remotely and still have the typical innovations and product launches that you’ve had historically in the past? – Jim Suva
Jim, the company has been incredibly resilient. The employees are really doing double duty. And I could not be more pleased with the cadence that we’re coming out with new things. As you can see from the software announcements that we made in — at WWDC and the corresponding launches of the software that we plan on in the fall and then all of the products that we’ve been able to bring out over the last 12 to 18 months, it’s amazing.
And so I’m very pleased with it. – Tim Cook
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