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01 Dec, Thursday
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Bull Trader USA

: Apple delays return-to-office date indefinitely, gives workers $1,000 ‘work-from-home’ bonus

Apple has pushed back its return date for in-person work from Feb. 1, 2022, to “a date yet to be determined.” 

That’s according to a memo that Apple Inc. AAPL, -3.93% CEO Tim Cook sent to employees on Wednesday, which was viewed by Bloomberg and verified by a company spokesperson. 

Cook said the tech company’s return-to-office date was postponed due to spiking COVID-19 cases in many parts of the world, alongside the rise of the omicron variant. He also recommended that Apple employees get COVID vaccines and booster shots, which he called, “by far the best way to keep you and your community safe.” 

What’s more, the company is also giving Apple employees a “work from home” bonus of $1,000 intended to “help you with your home workspace” that “can be used as you see fit,” Cook wrote. 

Apple has delayed bringing workers back into offices several times already this year amid the rise of more contagious variants of COVID-19, such as the delta and omicron variants, which postponed previous plans to return in October and in January 2022

Workers will be given a heads-up four weeks before they are asked to return to working in physical spaces. And they will follow a hybrid model of working in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and working from home on Wednesdays and Fridays. 

Apple also announced that it was temporarily closing three retail stores in Miami; Annapolis, Md.; and Ottawa, Ontario, this week due to a spike in COVID cases among employees at those stores. This comes on the heels of colleges and universities such as Cornell, Princeton and George Washington moving final exams online and canceling in-person events and activities in response to COVID outbreaks on their campuses.

Related: Cornell partially shuts down its campus due to more than 900 COVID-19 cases in possible omicron outbreak

Plus: George Washington University cancels in-person events and moves exams online following more than 400 COVID-19 cases

And Apple isn’t the only company rescheduling its back-to-office date. Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. FB, -1.98% recently said that it will fully reopen its U.S. offices at the end of January, but workers can defer coming back to the office until as late as June 2022.

And Alphabet’s GOOGL, -1.36% GOOG, -1.72% Google, Ford Co. F, +0.79% and Lyft LYFT, -2.50% have also delayed when employees will need to report to work in-person again.

The U.S. is averaging about 1,300 COVID deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, and about 120,000 new cases. European Union leaders were meeting on Thursday to coordinate a response to the omicron variant spreading across the continent.

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