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Return to Office: Apple, Google, Microsoft Employee Policies & Technology Industry Implications

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You can still Work From Home (WFH) -- but perhaps not five days per week. That's the emerging reality at Apple and Google, which are gradually requiring Silicon Valley employees to gradually return to the office (RTO) a few days per week.

Return to Office policies vary from one business to the next. Roughly 50% of companies already require or plan to require employees to return to the office full-time sometime in 2022, Microsoft Work From Home, Hybrid Work and Return to Office research revealed in early 2022.

But fast-forward to mid-2022, and employees at some businesses are pushing back against various Return to Office (RTO) policies. Amid that backdrop,  it's a safe bet RTO, WFH and Work From Anywhere (WFA) and hybrid work policies will continue to evolve as employers continue to measure employee productivity, staff retention and morale, customer satisfaction, and COVID-19 infection rates from region to region.

Return to Office: Technology Industry Policies

All that said, here are the latest return to office (RTO) policies in the technology industry:

Apple: Multiple updates...

  • May 2022: The company originally wanted employees to work from the office three days per week, starting May 23, 2022. But Apple delayed that plan amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, Bloomberg reported on May 17, 2022.
  • August 2022: Apple now wants corporate employees to return to the office three days per week, starting on September 5, 2022, Bloomberg reported.
  • August 2022: A group of Apple staffers -- known as AppleTogether -- is petitioning for a more flexible working environment after the tech giant recently told employees they will need to be in the office at least three days a week, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Google (owned by Alphabet): The search giant will require most employees to work in corporate offices three days per week starting April 4, 2022, Reuters noted. Still, some Google employees are pushing back against the RTO push because the policy isn't applied evenly to all employees, Business Insider reported.

Meta (parent of Facebook): Employees had until March 14, 2022 to decide whether they wanted to return to the office or continue working remotely temporarily or permanently, Cnet reported.

Microsoft: Employees who want to work remotely more than 50 percent of the time must have their schedules approved by managers, Bloomberg News reports.

Return to Office: Implications for MSPs, Channel Partners

No doubt, workforce policies will vary from company to company. And those policies will continue to evolve based on COVID-19 infection and mortality rates.

For MSPs and channel partners, one thing will remain unchanged: You'll need to design and manage customer networks in a way that provides secure, reliable application access regardless of where customer employees are located.

In short, MSPs and channel partners should assume Work From Anywhere (WFA) will remain a customer requirement indefinitely -- regardless of shifting customer attitudes and pandemic trends.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.