In an internal memo, Apple CEO Tim Cook informed employees that the Cupertino tech giant is ready to welcome them back to offices in September with the option to work from home. In the email, Mr. Cook expressed gratitude to everyone for their diligent hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic shift from office space to working remotely. But also mentioned that video conferencing is not a substitute for face-to-face collaboration and a sense of community. Therefore, he shared his excitement to see them in person.
Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020, Apple did not have a work-from-home culture at all over the fear of leaks. But the pandemic taught the $2 trillion company that it can sustain that culture for its employees worked remotely on new devices and updates with confidentiality. During that stint, Apple launched the new iPhone 12 series, M1 Macs, Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad Air, iOS 14, macOS Big Sur 11, and much more.
At the company’s virtual town hall in December 2020, CEO Tim Cook said that the employees will be returning to campuses in June 2021 but the pandemic has taught new lessons; “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.” And that is why the company will now allow employees to work 2 days from home.
Apple CEO Tim Cook is ready to welcome employees back to offices in September 2021
The internal memo viewed by The Verge started with the importance of physical communication. Mr. Cook wrote that,
“For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other. Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”
He detailed that most employees will be asked to come to the office for three days a week: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with the option to work remotely on Wednesday and Friday. However, the teams which require in-person collaboration will come to the office four to five days a week.
In addition, employees will be allowed to work remotely for up to two weeks a year after the managers’ approval, so they can “be closer to family and loved ones, find a change of scenery, manage unexpected travel, or a different reason all your own.”
Mr.Cook encouraged employees to get vaccinated and ended with a positive note. He wrote that,
“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.”