Apple Delays Return to Offices Over Delta Variant Fears

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As the Delta variant is becoming more prominent and the pace of vaccinations is stalling, several companies are delaying their in-office return-to-work policies.

See: How to Protect Yourself When You Return to Your Office
Find: Majority of Young White-Collar Workforce Sees Going Back to Office as Crucial to Career Success

Apple, for example, is pushing back its return-to-office deadline by at least a month, to October at the earliest, in response to the emergence of COVID variants across many countries, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

This is a strong reversal for the company, which just last month doubled down on its request for employees to return to the office at least three days a week despite its employees’ discontent about the hybrid model the company proposed. Some of them pushed back, saying the decision has “already forced some of our colleagues to quit,” according to The Verge.

See: Apple is Not Backing Down from Hybrid Model Despite Employees’ Discontent
Find: 34% of Remote Workers Would Rather Quit Than Go Back to the Office

The worker response wasn’t necessarily a surprise, given a May poll from Morning Consult and Bloomberg News finding that nearly 40% of U.S. adults would “consider quitting if their employers weren’t flexible about remote work.” That’s up from 34% in a spring study released by staffing firm Robert Half.

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This most recent move makes Apple one of the first U.S. tech giants to delay plans, Bloomberg reported, adding that the company will give its employees at least a month’s warning before mandating a return to offices, the sources said, asking not to be identified discussing internal policy.

A new CNBC survey notes that the hybrid work model is here to stay but will fall short of becoming a dominant mode of employment: 45% of companies expect to lead with a hybrid workforce model in the second half of 2021, versus roughly 32% that indicated they’d implement an “in-person first” employment model, according to the survey.

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