Apple CEO Tim Cook confirmed Thursday that most of his employees will work from home during the first half of next year. Bloomberg News reported that he said it “seems likely” that the majority of teams won’t be back before June 2021.

Apple Work From Home to Continue, But ‘no Replacement for Face-to-Face Collaboration’

Mr. Cook, though, is clear that he wants staff back in the office. “There’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results,” he reportedly told staff. He added that “when we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while incorporating the best of our transformations this year.” Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering, also commented that remote work had proven to be a “huge challenge” for device design. This work is usually done in Labs.

Apple is also set to give employees in a number of regions additional paid leave on January 4. Meanwhile, Mr. Cook said that the employee donation program was having the strongest years since its launch. During its existence, it has raised $591 million, with staff also donating 1.6 million hours of their time. Apple will be making a $5 million donation to organizations hit by COVID-19, according to the CEO.

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