Apple employees will head back to the office on April 11, according to an internal email by CEO Tim Cook. But the company is taking a somewhat unusual approach to that reopening.
For starters, employees will head into the office just one day per week. By the end of April, that cadence will increase to two days per week. By May 23rd, they’ll be in the office three days per week (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday). That’s very different from the approach at other companies, where workers are expected to instantly ramp up to a multi-day in-office schedule.
“For many of you, I know that returning to the office represents a long-awaited milestone and a positive sign that we can engage more fully with the colleagues who play such an important role in our lives,” Cook wrote in the email, according to The Verge. “For others, it may also be an unsettling change. I want you to know that we are deeply committed to giving you the support and flexibility that you need in this next phase.”
Cook also indicated that the company could adjust its plans in response to unforeseen events: “As we begin this pilot, we are looking forward to learning as we go and adjusting where we need to, all in service of fostering a really collaborative and flexible approach to our work together.”
Apple had previously postponed its reopening due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike executives at other companies who eventually decided to allow most employees to work remotely on a permanent basis, Tim Cook was dedicated to getting his workforce back to their desks, citing the “energy, creativity and collaboration” of in-person work. During the last reopening delay, which pushed the date from January 2022 to later in the year, Apple also gave its employees $1,000 for their work-at-home needs.