Apple to give workers $1,000 bonuses and delay return to offices

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The company is playing things safe as COVID-19 variants continue to spread

Apple is handing out $1,000 holiday bonuses to its employees and announced that it will delay its full office reopening.

A letter that CEO Tim Cook sent to staff on Wednesday, which was obtained by The Verge, stated that the official date for returning to work is “yet to be determined.” Cook also took the opportunity in his letter to encourage Apple workers to get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shots.

“Our offices remain open and many of our colleagues are coming in regularly, including our teams in Greater China and elsewhere,” Cook wrote. “As we look forward to more of our teams being together again, we will continue to make decisions based on local conditions and will be sure to notify you at least four weeks before beginning the pilot.”

Rising cases and variants cause concern

The original plan was for Apple employees to return to work on February 1, 2022, but the rising number of coronavirus cases and the spread of the new Omicron variant caused concern. Apple closed three of its retail stores this week in response to growing COVID-19 infections and began requiring customers to mask up when they visit an Apple store. 

In his letter, Cook said that every Apple employee – including retail staffers – would be getting $1,000 in their next paycheck – minus tax and withholding. 

“These funds are intended to help you with your home workspace and can be used as you see fit,” Cook wrote. “Keep in mind that when you return to the office, you’ll be bringing your Apple-owned equipment back, so you should consider what you’ll want for your home workspace.”

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