Apple to pilot hybrid work scheme in April

Full implementation will begin in May

Apple to pilot hybrid work scheme in April

Apple employees will be recalled back to workplaces starting April, according to reports, as the tech giant gradually rolls out a hybrid work arrangement for its corporate offices in the United States.  The Verge, citing an internal email from Apple chief executive officer (CEO) Tim Cook, reported that beginning April 11, employees will begin returning on-site once a week.

It will gradually expand to two days a week after the third week, according to the email from Cook, with the transitional period to be extended from four to six weeks.

"We will then begin the hybrid pilot in full on May 23, with people coming to the office three days a week — on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday — and working flexibly on Wednesday and Friday if you wish," the Apple CEO said as quoted by The Verge.

"Though the timing may vary to some degree in different countries/sites based on local conditions, we will follow the same process wherever we are not yet back in the office. You'll hear more details from your local teams on specific timing as it applies to your location," he added.

The pilot for hybrid work comes as more locations in the United States begin easing local pandemic restrictions, with the company "optimistic that this progress will continue into the spring."

Cook, citing the decline in active cases, also said that Apple's U.S. sites will revert to being mask-optional over the next few weeks, but stressed that employees are always welcome to wear a mask if they feel comfortable in doing so.

Previously, only customers were allowed to ditch the masks, but this depends if their state has already dropped mask mandates.

Read more: Apple CEO Tim Cook 'can't wait' to return to office

Cook also recognised the potential reception of employees towards the implementation of hybrid work, with some seeing it as a "long-awaited milestone" and some feeling unsettled over the 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 — a commitment that begins with this gradual introduction of our hybrid pilot and includes the option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year," he announced.

The Apple CEO said that the company looks forward to learning and adjusting as the pilot hybrid work arrangement is rolled out, adding that he cannot wait to see employees being together again.

"In the coming weeks and months, we have an opportunity to combine the best of what we have learned about working remotely with the irreplaceable benefits of in-person collaboration. 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," he said in the email obtained by The Verge.

Development of the COVID-19 pandemic situation has postponed Apple's previous return-to-office plans, which go way back in 2021.

Apple employees previously opposed plans to get them back on-site in September 2021, stressing that they prefer a flexible work arrangement that will give them the freedom to work remotely if they want to.

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