Apple is joining other major tech companies in embracing a hybrid workweek. In a recent email, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that employees could come into the office three days per week.
“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,” Cook wrote in the email, according to The Verge. In the spirit of togetherness, employees will be asked to return to their office desks on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. In addition, Apple will offer a two-week period per year where employees can work remotely.
There are exceptions. Employees whose jobs demand constant in-person interaction will have to return to the office four or five days per week. “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,” Cook continued in the email.
While Twitter and Facebook made headlines in mid-2020 by announcing they would give employees the option of working remotely full-time, Apple is yet another tech giant that expects employees to head back to the office at least part of the time. In April, Amazon issued an internal notice stating that it expected employees to embrace an “office-centric” culture, with most employees returning to their desks by the fall. Google is likewise committed to the hybrid model, with a plan for Googlers to return to the office for three days per week (like Apple, Google is also offering employees the chance to work for a few weeks per year from wherever they want).
Cook also isn’t alone among big-tech CEOs in highlighting the benefits of in-office collaboration. “What I miss is when you walk into a physical meeting, you are talking to the person that is next to you, you’re able to connect with them for the two minutes before and after,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told The New York Times in May 2020.
It’s clear from numerous surveys that technologists prefer either remote or flexible options when it comes to scheduling, so Apple’s embrace of a hybrid workweek may prove a success. And considering how Apple has a massive headquarters (Apple Park) that reportedly cost billions of dollars to build, it’s safe to assume that Cook wants employees using all that pricey real estate as much as possible.