Apple Planning for Employees to Return to Corporate Offices Soon
Apple plans to start having employees return to its corporate offices around the world in the near future despite the fact that many other tech companies are implementing work-from-home policies through at least the end of 2020, reports Bloomberg.
Apple plans to bring employees back to its offices in phases over the course of a few months, according to people with knowledge of the company's plans. The first phase, which encompasses staff members unable to work remotely or who are facing challenges working from home, has already begun in some regions. This phase will expand to major offices in late May and early June.
A second phase, which kicks off in July, will see even more employees returned to Apple's global offices, though Apple's plans to have employees return to work are fluid and may change based on local and state stay-at-home orders.
Starting this week, Apple managers are beginning to let employees know if they're in the first phase or a later stage of the process. During the first phase, employees will either be asked to work from the office on a regular basis or only for certain periods of time dependent on their roles.
Some of the first employees to return to work at Apple's Silicon Valley campuses could include those who focus on hardware development. According to Bloomberg, some future hardware initiatives, such as virtual reality and augmented headsets, have been dialed back in recent months due to the limitations of at-home work.
Apple has long emphasized in-person collaboration and has shied away from allowing employees to work from home, which is a factor in its approach to returning to standard working conditions. Facebook and Google have said that most employees will be able to work from home through the end of the year.
Amazon plans to allow office workers to work from home until early October, while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey today said that some Twitter employees can work from home permanently if they choose to do so.
Some Apple employees have been working at Apple's offices throughout the pandemic to keep business critical operations running, which includes those who manage data centers, deploy software, and test hardware. As employees return to work, Apple will implement temperature checks, mask wearing, and social distancing.
In addition to planning for corporate employees to turn to work, Apple has begun opening up some of its Apple Stores. In the United States, retail locations in South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, and Idaho are reopening this week, and all stores in Australia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and South Korea have been reopened.