Apple has reportedly indefinitely delayed the requirement for its workers to return to the office due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
According to a new Bloomberg report, Apple CEO Tim Cook has told employees globally that their return to offices, originally slated for February 1 2021, has been pushed back to a “date yet to be determined.”
“We are delaying the start of our hybrid work pilot,” Cook reportedly said in the memo, adding the decision was made due to “rising cases in many parts of the world and the emergence of a new strain of the virus.”
The CEO also announced that all corporate employees would be receiving $1000 USD to spend on home office equipment.
Cook suggested employees get vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 “to keep you and your community safe,” the report notes. It follows Google on Tuesday reportedly telling employees they will lose pay and eventually be fired if they don’t comply with the company’s vaccination rules.
Apple also announced that it was temporarily closing three retail stores in Miami, Florida, Annapolis, Maryland, and Ottawa, Canada due to spikes in positive COVID tests for employees in those locations.
Apple still seems determined on getting as many employees back to the office as possible, in sharp contrast to most of its competitors. But the pandemic has at least inspired Cook to give employees a bit of flexibility whenever they do come back in the form of allowing them to work remotely four weeks each year.