As the COVID-19 vaccine has begun to roll out this week, eyes are peeled on whether big corporations will see this as a ticket towards ‘normality’ in the workplace, putting an end to the remote working lifestyle we have seen since the first lockdown in March.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the majority of Apple employees are not likely to see a return, or push to return to work, until at least June 2021, whether it is offices in the US or offices in London.
While Cook reportedly acknowledged the importance of face-to-face, in-person communication and collaboration, Apple’s success this year could lead to flexible remote working options for employees. Work can still be completed to a high standard outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or outcomes.
Apple’s main head offices are located in Santa Clara Country, where a stay at home order is currently being enforced. This order requires companies to allow their employees to work remotely where possible and stands in place till at least the end of 2020.
Earlier this year, Cook anticipated that Apple employees would see a return to work in early 2021, but these plans have since been modified accordingly.
Facebook, another big corporation, saw its CEO Mark Zuckerberg tell employees this week that they will not be required to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine in order to return to the office once facilitates re-open.
Facebook employees will be given the option to work remotely until at least July 2021, and the offices are not expected to open until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available.
While Zuckerberg has discussed his confidence in the vaccine, he will not require workers to have one.
The return to the Facebook office will see a number of adjustments, including testing sites, social distancing in place and mask-wearing where necessary so that worker’s health and safety is prioritised.
Zuckerberg this week has thus become the first major tech CEO to discuss his position on whether employees will be required to be vaccinated in order to return to the offices. Several corporations are expected to discuss their stances in the coming months as the COVID-19 vaccine sees an international rollout.