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Leaked Apple memo tells employees that they'll be coming into the office at least 3 days a week from September

Cupertino insists it works best when they're all together

It's safe to say that many Apple employees aren't particularly enthused about the return to the office but HQ isn't backing down, as demonstrated by a leaked video message sent to the workforce.

Earlier this month, the company said it would adopt a hybrid working pattern from September, provoking some employees to quit as a result.

Now, in a clip obtained by The Verge, Deirdre O'Brien, senior veep of retail and people, reiterated the same platitudes about collaboration we saw in CEO Tim Cook's all-hands memo.

"We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future," she said. "If we take a moment to reflect on our unbelievable product launches this past year, the products and the launch execution were built upon the base of years of work that we did when we were all together in-person."

From September, Apple will require all employees to be physically present at the office at least three days a week: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Other employees would be required to work from the office full time, depending on their role.

To sweeten the blow, Apple said it would allow employees to work fully remotely for two weeks each year, allowing them to temporarily relocate to be closer to family, or just to get a reprieve from the tedium and expense of commuting.

Not everyone was happy, and shortly after Cook's memo a group of Apple employees signed a letter urging the company to reconsider. It stated:

"That Apple’s remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit. Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple."

Although COVID cases have plummeted thanks to the US vaccine programme, childcare is still a challenge for many. Daycare facilities remain closed or in short supply in some places, and some schools continue to operate with a hybrid timetable.

The tech world is divided about the future role of the office, with Twitter and Pinterest allowing employees to work remotely indefinitely. Others, including Google, are urging the adoption of a mixed remote/in-person approach, while Workday is calling for a return to the corporate altar. ®

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