In a company-wide memo to staff on Wednesday, CEO Tim Cook said workers must return to their desks for at least three days a week, though exceptions will be made.
Some staff members will be given the option to work the remaining two days remotely. Teams that require “in-person” work will return for four or five days. Apple also told staff they will be able to apply for the chance to work remotely for two weeks a year. However, managers will need to approve remote work requests.
Cook said that despite a smooth transition to remote working, it was not an adequate replacement for in-person collaboration.
“For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other”, he said in the document.
“Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.” He added: “I know I’m not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we’ve all built.”