Apple tells staff: Work from home indefinitely

The music business has big plans for 2022. Covid-19 is looking increasingly likely to disrupt them… into Q1 and beyond.

The Omicron variant is now rampantly spreading in multiple territories around the world.

Earlier today (December 15), the UK reported its highest ever figure for daily Covid cases: 78,610 versus the previous peak of 68,053 on January 8, 2021.

And in the past couple of hours, we’ve learned that tech giant Apple has told corporate staff that they won’t be expected to return to the office… indefinitely.

In November, Apple told its executive employees that they would be expected to spend working days in the office from February 1, 2022.

That date has now been postponed, to a period that is – according to Apple CEO Tim Cook – “yet to be determined”.

Cook broke the news to staff in a memo today, in which he also announced that all corporate employees would be getting $1,000 from Apple to buy work equipment for their home.

Apple’s move is bound to impact on the thinking of the three major music companies, who have been monitoring the work-from-home policies of fellow multi-nationals closely.

In February, Spotify announced to its staff that they could now “work from anywhere” full-time – so long as they gained the approval of their manager.

In an HR blog post explaining the move, Spotify wrote: “We have been discussing the future of work and what it will look like for a couple of years, and have always concluded that globalisation and digitalisation are drivers for a more flexible workplace, that is better for both the company and our people.

“Then 2020 came. Overnight, we were forced to work from home, which was in and of itself a litmus test of our culture and values, and even though we are not yet on the other side of this pandemic, or the racial and social challenges that the last year has shed light on, we are proud to say that Spotify’s culture stands strong.

“The events of the past year have accelerated [our] thinking about the future and we believe that the time to start transitioning into becoming a flexible/distributed-first company is NOW and we’re pleased to introduce our Work From Anywhere program for all employees.”Music Business Worldwide