Apple has informed employees that they expect to return to the office three days a week starting September 5, according to internal emails viewed by The Verge. The news was first reported by Bloomberg.
All Bay Area employees are expected to come on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in addition to a third day per week decided on a team-by-team basis. Employees have the option to work remotely twice a week.
The news marks the start of Apple’s heavily delayed hybrid working model, which was announced in June 2021. The announcement sparked a wave of activism within the company as employees protested the return to the workplace. Those protests died down as Apple continued to delay the hybrid work model due to the pandemic.
CEO Tim Cook and SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi sent memos to the employees we’ve listed below.
Memo from Tim Cook
The early ramp-up phase of our hybrid work pilot was a great opportunity to come together, reconnect with our teams and meet new colleagues in person. This has been a transition for many of us as we have navigated the changing case numbers in many parts of the world. Thank you for your teamwork and professionalism as we continue to move forward.
I’m writing to you today with two updates, one about changes we’re making to our Hybrid Pilot, the other about its timing.
When we announced the pilot a year ago, we said it would be a learning experience for all of us. And we’re committed to adapting along the way to create a flexible environment that enables our teams to thrive. Based on the feedback and insights we received from you and your managers, we are making the following adjustment:
Teams participating in the pilot come into the office three days a week, with Tuesday and Thursday being company-wide set days, but now the third day you come in is decided by your teams. Each team will make the decision on what day is right for them, and you’ll be hearing from your leaders soon. As before, many employees will have the opportunity to work remotely two days a week. Depending on your role, you also have the option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year.
We’re excited to proceed with the pilot and believe this revised framework will enhance our ability to work flexibly while preserving the face-to-face collaboration that is so important to our culture. We also know that we still have a lot to learn. And we commit to listening, adapting and growing together in the coming weeks and months.
In terms of timing, many locations around the world are in different stages and you will have more details shortly. For the Santa Clara Valley, we plan to launch our new customized pilot with all employees in the office for three days beginning the week of September 5th.
In the short term, we will continue to navigate the pandemic together as the situation evolves. We are closely monitoring the data and our COVID-19 response team will continue to update you on the health and safety protocols for your location as needed. In the meantime, it is encouraging that children under the age of five can now be vaccinated in many countries and I urge anyone who can get a vaccine or a booster shot to do so if you have not already done so.
As we continue this journey, I want to say how grateful I am for all you do. I have never been more excited about the possibilities that lie ahead, the impact we can have on the lives we touch, and the amazing team that makes it all possible. I look forward to working with you to create a flexible environment at Apple where together we can better transform the lives of our users around the world.
Memo by Craig Federighi
This afternoon, Tim sent a message to team members at Apple about our hybrid pilot and return to office plans, and I wanted to follow-up on how this news will impact our team.
First of all a huge thank you. The last few years have presented us all with some real challenges and I appreciate your passion and dedication to building beautiful, amazing and high quality software for our customers and developers around the world.
After years in limbo (and a few false starts), the week of September 5th marks the true launch of our hybrid working pilot in the Santa Clary Valley – and I personally can’t wait to experience the special energy of having us everyone back in the office! Note: For all other locations, resume dates may vary based on current conditions of COVID-19 around the world. Expect to receive location-specific communications from the Covid-19 Response Team with timings for your location soon.
As you read in Tim’s note, we’re modifying the pilot so that our three days in the office include two days when we all work together in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays (our company-wide days), and an additional in-the-office day dedicated to yours team is selected, with priority given to working with your immediate collaborators. Please share your input with your manager on the third day of the coming week in your team’s office. This allows them to determine which day works best for the entire team.
Needless to say, this next phase is a pilot project, so we can rest assured that we will learn a lot over the coming months.
I look forward to the next chapter and all that lies ahead.
See you soon!