Most Apple Employees in U.S. Won't Return to Offices Until Early 2021
In an interview ahead of Apple's third quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg that Apple employees in the United States won't be returning to their offices until early 2021 as the coronavirus continues to spread in the United States.
Apple initially had some employees return to its campuses in mid-June, with some key employees returning even earlier in May, but it appears most workers will continue doing their jobs in their homes through the end of the year.
"We've kicked the time period that U.S. employees would come back until early next year," Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. "To go beyond that, it would depend on the success with a vaccine, success with therapeutics" and local conditions, he added.
Cook said Apple’s process for re-opening its offices would be similar to how it has handled its retail stores. He likened the process to an “accordion” where the company would open offices and then re-close them as necessary depending on the data.
Other tech companies like Facebook and Google said in June that employees would be able to work from home for all of 2020, with Twitter and Square allowing employees to work from home permanently if they choose to do so.
Apple was planning a multi-phase approach that would see employees trickling back in throughout the summer months, but told employees at the time that its plans were fluid and could change based on local and state stay-at-home orders.
Apple CFO Luca Maestri during the Q3 2020 earnings call said that Apple is taking a cautious approach with both its corporate facilities and its retail stores, and the company is trying to understand how the virus is evolving over time. Most employees will be working from home through 2020, at which time Apple will re-evaluate.
Maestri said that it's hoping for a vaccine and will make future decisions as it gets more information.