image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionApple CEO Tim Cook revealed the plans in a company-wide memo

Apple wants its employees to return to offices by September, a company-wide memo sent to staff on Wednesday said.

Workers must return to their desks for at least three days a week, chief executive Tim Cook wrote. Some staff members will be given the option to work the remaining two days remotely.

Teams that require "in-person" work will return for four or five days.

Apple also told staff they will be able to apply for the chance to work remotely for two weeks a year.

However, managers will need to approve remote work requests.

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Mr Cook said that despite a smooth transition to remote working, it was not an adequate replacement for in-person collaboration.

"For all that we've been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other," he said in the document, seen by The Verge.

"Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate."

He added: "I know I'm not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we've all built."

Apple has gone from strength-to-strength during the pandemic with its overall revenues jumping 50% year-on-year largely because of a surge in iPhone sales.

The company has also been more conservative regarding its working from home policy than other tech giants.

Facebook announced last year that its employees could work from home full-time as long, as they get approval from their manager.

Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey also made headlines when he announced a similar policy in May 2020.

But Google recently announced a similar bid to get more people back into offices for three days a week.

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