Apple has extended its remote work deadline, with most employees not expected back in the office until June 2021.
Apple, perhaps more than many companies, is known for its face-to-face collaboration. Steve Jobs famously helped rebuild a culture of face-to-face collaboration at Apple, built on teams brainstorming and building on ideas together.
Despite its culture, like many companies, Apple sent employees home to work remotely as a result of the pandemic. According to Bloomberg, Apple has now pushed back the timeframe when employees will be expected back in the office to June of 2021, with CEO Tim Cook saying it “seems likely” employees will not return before then.
At the same time, there is little hope Apple will embrace a fully remote option as some other companies, such as Twitter, have done. Cook made it clear he firmly believes in the face-to-face collaboration that has been one of the foundations of Apple’s success.
“There’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results,” Cook told staff, according to Bloomberg’s sources. “All of these learnings are important. When we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while incorporating the best of our transformations this year.”
There does appear to be a glimmer of hope for employees looking for more flexibility, however. The fact that Cook said the company will incorporate “the best of our transformations this year,” would seem to indicate the company is open to some flexibility — perhaps along the lines of the approach Google is taking — even if it’s not a fully remote option.