Apple's plans to have most employees back in the office instead of working from home are not going well. The company has had to postpone the return to the office several times, both to appease employees and because of the ongoing pandemic.

The last plan was for employees to return to onsite working on 1 February 2022, but Apple has once again pushed back the date, Bloomberg reports. This time, the Omicron variant of the COVID virus, whose rapid spread has put the world's healthcare systems on edge, is the obvious cause.

In a memo to employees, Tim Cook writes that the company will give all remote workers $1,000 to improve their home offices. That includes store employees who have been assigned other duties, such as chat or phone support for Apple's online store.

Apple will give employees at least a month's notice before setting a new return-to-work date.

The company's current plan for work arrangements after the pandemic is for employees to be on site Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with the right - if they wish - to work from home on Wednesday and Friday. In addition, everyone will be able to choose to work from home for up to one month a year.

While most tech companies have been reasonably sanguine about the idea of employees working from home in the long term - and are obviously in a better position than firms in most other sectors to provide suitable kit for videoconferencing and so on - Apple has been keen almost from the very start to get back to the office. It was preparing for a return back in May 2020, and has been periodically updating its plans ever since.

This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation (using DeepL) and additional reporting by David Price.