Apple has scrapped its plans for corporate staff around the world to return to the office later this year, having decided not to welcome them back until January 2022 – at the earliest – instead. As seems to be the case with most recent news stories, this change comes because of fears over the Delta variant. The Guardian has the story.

The iPhone maker, which will still keep its network of retail stores open, had previously told staff there would be a phased return to work from October. The delayed office return applies to its international workforce, including those based in the U.K.

The company told staff in a memo that it would confirm the reopening plans one month before employees were required to return to the office, according to Bloomberg News.

The memo, sent by the Human Resources and Retail Head, Deirdre O’Brien, added that the company did not currently expect to close its offices or retail stores, but she strongly encouraged staff to get vaccinated. …

Apple, which last month reinstated the mask-wearing policy for in-store staff that it had only decided to scrap in June, had previously planned to ask staff to return to its offices on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays by early September, before delaying that to October. Employees would be able to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

In the U.K., the company employs 7,000 staff and operates 38 retail stores, the most in any country in Europe. …

Apple is the latest major corporation to decide conditions are not yet safe enough to expect staff to return to offices.

Earlier this month, Microsoft said it would push back the reopening of its corporate offices from September until at least October 4th.

Amazon staff will remain working remotely until at least January 3rd, while Google has extended its voluntary work from home period until October 18th, having previously outlined plans for a September return.

Worth reading in full.