Back in June 2021, Apple announced its plans to introduce a hybrid work environment, asking employees to return to offices threes days a week. The plan faced pushback from employees, citing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Fast forward nine months later and now the plan is finally being implemented, according to an email Apple CEO Tim Cook sent to employees, seen by The Verge.
Apple was originally supposed to begin its hybrid work pilot in September, but it was later pushed to October, then into the new year for January, and then delayed to February.
Apple now says that the hybrid work pilot will begin in phases on April 11th. In the first phase, employees will be required to come into the office only once a week. In the third week, the days required at the office will double.
On May 23, the hybrid pilot will begin in full, with employees having to come to the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday and being allowed to work flexibly on Wednesday and Friday. The hybrid pilot will give Apple employees the option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year.
In the email, Cook mentioned that services like Caffè Macs and espresso bars at the company are still open; he encouraged Apple employees to come into the office and “grab coffee with a colleague, check out their workspace, or hold a team meeting.”
Cook also wrote in the email that since COVID-19 cases have declined, most Apple stores will go back to being mask-optional. He reiterated, however, that employees are free to wear a mask and should get the vaccine if they are able to.
At the end of the email, Cook expressed his excitement over finally being able to work with other people again.
“It is as important as ever that we support each other through this transition, through the challenges we face as a team and around the world. I look forward to being together and to learning together during this pilot as we continue to build on the culture that makes Apple such an incredible place,” concluded Cook.