As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, Apple CEO Tim Cook, however, is now feeling bullish about returning to work in Apple Park. “My gut says that, for us, it’s still very important to physically be in touch with one another because collaboration isn’t always a planned activity,” he tells PEOPLE.
“Innovation isn’t always a planned activity,” Cook adds. “It’s bumping into each other over the course of the day and advancing an idea that you just had. And you really need to be together to do that.”
Some remote work could continue, he adds: “We have realized and learned that there are some things that are perfectly great to do virtually across Zoom or WebEx, whatever, or FaceTime, whatever you might have. So I think it’ll be, I’ll call it a hybrid environment [for] a little bit.”
The company did not slow down while many staffers worked from home. “You look back, and the shutdown occurred in mid-March. Post that, we had this enormous, prolific product period, [introducing] the first 5G iPhone. We introduced the M1 chip in the Mac. These are major, major accomplishments,” he says.
Though the company hasn’t announced a firm return-to-work date, Cook is looking forward to that day: “Largely, I think that we’re going to be back at work again, and I can’t wait until that happens.”
MacDailyNews Note: Listen to Naugle’s interview with Tim Cook about returning to work and more in the podcast PEOPLE Every Day: