Apple has delayed plans to bring workers back to the office three days a week as COVID cases in its home state of California surged once again.
The tech company blamed recent Covid-19 surges in California for the delay of the three day a week requirement. Workers must still come in two days a week, but it remains unclear when the three-day-a-week rule will be enforced.
Apple informed employees on Tuesday that it was delaying the three days per week in the office requirement, which was due to come into effect on May 23, Bloomberg reported.
A memo circulated to Apple employees said the requirement was delayed ‘for the time being,’ but didn’t include a new start-date.
The now-suspended plan required employees to work from the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Employees have been going to the Apple office two days a week since April, and there has been no indication that requirement will be changed.
Apple blamed surging Covid-19 cases as the reason for the requirement’s delay, but the three day per week plan has been controversial among staff since it was announced.
The former director of machine learning at Apple, Ian Goodfellow, made headlines in May when he quit his job in protest at the company’s three days per week demands.
In his resignation note, Goodfellow insisted that office flexibility was best for his team.
‘I believe strongly that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,’ he said, according to The Verge.
Goodfellow is not the only Apple employee dissatisfied with new office requirements. A survey of workers from April 13-19 found 67 percent saying they were dissatisfied with the return-to-office policy, Fortune reported.
California has become a Covid-19 resurgence hotbed in recent weeks, with the New York Times reporting an average of 8,925 in the last seven days – a 37% spike in cases from the average two weeks ago.