Apple has informed staff that they will return to the office three days a week beginning September 5, according to internal emails reviewed by Custom Hour. The news was: first reported by Bloomberg.
All employees in the Bay Area are expected to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in addition to a third day per week determined by individual teams. Employees have the option to work remotely twice a week.
The news marks the start of Apple’s much-delayed hybrid working model, which was announced in June 2021. The announcement sparked a wave of activism within the company as employees protested the return to work. Those protests died down as Apple continued to postpone the hybrid working model because of the pandemic.
CEO Tim Cook and SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi sent memos to staff, which we’ve included below.
Memo from Tim Cook
The early start-up phase of our hybrid work pilot was a great opportunity to get together, reconnect with our teams and meet new colleagues in person. This has been a transition for many of us as we have navigated changing cases in many parts of the world, so thank you for your teamwork and professionalism as we move forward.
I am writing you today with two updates, one on changes we are making to our hybrid pilot, the other on timing.
When we announced the pilot a year ago, we said it would be a learning experience for all of us. And we’re committed to adapting along the way to create an agile environment in which our teams can thrive. Based on the feedback and insights we have received from you and your managers, we make the following adjustment:
Teams participating in the pilot will come to the office three days a week with Tuesdays and Thursdays being set days for the entire company, but now the third day you come in is determined by your teams. Each team will decide which day is right for them, and you’ll be hearing from your leaders soon. As before, many employees will have the option to work remotely two days a week. Depending on your position, you also have the option of working remotely for up to four weeks a year.
We are excited to move forward with the pilot and believe this revised framework will enhance our ability to work flexibly while preserving the personal collaboration that is so essential to our culture. We also know that we still have a lot to learn. And we are determined to listen, adapt and grow together in the coming weeks and months.
In terms of timing, many locations around the world are in different phases and you’ll hear more details soon. For Santa Clara Valley, we plan to begin three days of our new custom pilot with all employees in the office starting the week of September 5.
In the short term, we will continue to navigate the pandemic together as the situation evolves. We are closely monitoring the data and you will continue to receive updates on health and safety protocols for your location from our COVID-19 response team as needed. In the meantime, it is encouraging that children under the age of five are now eligible for vaccination in many countries, and I urge anyone who is able to obtain a vaccine or booster to do so, if you are not already have done.
As we continue on this journey, I want to say how grateful I am for all that you do. I’ve never been more excited about the opportunities ahead, the impact we can have on the lives we touch and the outstanding team that makes it all possible. I look forward to working with you to create an agile environment at Apple where together we can make an even bigger difference in the lives of our users around the world.
Memo from Craig Federighi
This afternoon, Tim sent a note to Apple team members regarding our hybrid pilot and return to office plans, and I was eager to see what impact this news will have on our team.
First of all thank you very much. The past few years have presented us with some real challenges to what we all do, and I appreciate your passion and dedication to creating delicious, great quality software for our customers and developers around the world.
After years in limbo (and a few false starts), it’s really about to happen: The week of September 5 marks the real start of our hybrid work pilot in the Santa Clary Valley – and I personally can’t wait to experience the special energy of the have all of us back together in the office! Note: For all other locations, resumption dates may vary based on current COVID-19 conditions around the world. You can expect location specific messages from the Covid-19 response team with timing details for your country soon.
As you can read in Tim’s note, we are adjusting the pilot so that our three days in the office include two days where we all work in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays (our company-wide days), and one additional in-office day chosen by your team, prioritizing collaboration with your immediate colleagues. Share your input with your manager on your team’s third office day over the next week. This will help them determine which day works best for the overall team.
It goes without saying that this next phase is a pilot, so we can be sure that we will learn a lot in the coming months.
I look forward to this next chapter and all that lies ahead.