Apple Developing Hybrid 'Retail Flex' Work From Home Program for Apple Store Employees

Apple is developing a hybrid work model for its retail employees that would sometimes allow them to work from home, reports Bloomberg.

apple store palo alto
It may sound unusual for a retail employee to work from home, but in this case, it means that workers would be able to take on at-home support shifts in addition to their in-store shifts.

A "Retail Flex" pilot program is set to debut, which will see at-home employees handling online sales, customer service, and technical support as Apple expects that many people will continue to prefer online shopping over in-person shopping.

Apple retail stores were closed for much of 2020 amid the ongoing health crisis, but all retail locations have now reopened and are operational. When the pilot program launches, workers will move between their store and remote roles depending on demand in stores vs. online shopping at different times during the year. Salaries will remain constant regardless of where an employee is working.

Participants in the Retail Flex program are being asked to participate for at least six months, with the initiative to ramp up from September to December when new devices are set to launch. Employees will be reimbursed for some internet expenses and will receive $100 to put toward office equipment.

For corporate employees, Apple is implementing a work schedule that will see them returning to the office for three days a week starting in September. Some employees petitioned Apple for a more remote friendly work environment that would allow them to work from home permanently, but Apple's retail and people lead Deirdre O'Brien clarified that Apple's in-person work schedule is non-negotiable as in-person work is "essential" to Apple product development and company culture.

Top Rated Comments

ghanwani Avatar
13 months ago

Participants in the Retail Flex program are being asked to participate for at least six months, with the initiative to ramp up from September to December when new devices are set to launch.
Now there's a leak. We now know there will be new devices from September to December!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JPack Avatar
13 months ago
Training is the key here. Some of those retail reps were clearly not trained when they took calls from home last year.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghanwani Avatar
13 months ago

Training is the key here. Some of those retail reps were clearly not trained when they took calls from home last year.
Are you sure it's not the customers that need training? :D
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
13 months ago

Are you sure it's not the customers that need training? :D
considering one side gets paid for this while the other pays(in devices) — no.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
13 months ago

Training is the key here. Some of those retail reps were clearly not trained when they took calls from home last year.
some of the reps in the stores are not trained. at least well.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Montana_Griz Avatar
13 months ago
I’m the director of production for a promotional company printing, assembling and selling tech-related merchandise (popgrips for phones, high-capacity USB drives, back-up batteries, etc—-if we can print on it or engrave it, we do it). Prior to Covid affecting the availability of the merchandise we were buying from (as luck would have it) Wuhan and other factories in Guandong region of China, and then the following 18 months of the pandemic affecting everything else in Seattle, we reduced our production staff from over 100, working 24/7, to 15 people working 9A to 5P, Monday through Friday. The sales and service people, art department and the other people who did non-production work were also reduced in number, and were allowed to work from home—-if they wanted. All but one took that option. Now we’re getting back to full capacity, and the production team are very happy to return to work. We made it clear to the other staff, though: you could be here Monday through Friday before the pandemic, so please plan on resuming your on-site work again, effective 1 September. I was happy the president/CEO made that decision, since we’ve been all about equality and equity from the start. A few of the office people took great umbrage with life returning to normal for the company and the expectation that everyone plays on the same team, turning in either immediate or eventual notices that they’re quitting their jobs. With the great availability of people in Seattle, I don’t foresee a challenge getting the positions filled quickly. Who wouldn’t like quarterly profit-sharing bonuses, up to four weeks PTO, 11 paid holidays, bringing your four-legged furries to work, tuition compensation and four blow-out company events every year? Well, apparently those who find commuting “gross” (a quote), and apparently a wealth of other better opportunities elsewhere. We’ll miss them, but we welcome a work environment of equity and inclusion for all workers.
It’s true: one can’t please everyone all the time, but efforts can be made to be fair to everyone, whenever possible.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple store palo alto

Apple Giving Retail Employees Up to a $1,000 One-Time Bonus

Wednesday September 22, 2021 1:14 pm PDT by
Apple is planning to give its Apple Store employees one-time bonuses amounting to up to $1,000, reports Bloomberg. The bonuses will be provided to employees who have been working during the ongoing global health crisis. Retail employees who were hired before March 31, 2021 will be given $1,000, and employees who joined after that date will be given $500. Employees hired for the holiday...
apple store employees los angeles tower

Some Apple Store Employees in U.S. Reportedly Working to Unionize

Friday February 18, 2022 6:06 am PST by
The Washington Post today reports that employees at some Apple retail stores in the U.S. are quietly working to unionize. The report claims that groups of employees working for at least two stores are preparing to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board in the near future, and at least a half dozen more locations are said to be in earlier stages of the unionization process....
apple park evacuation

Some Apple Park Employees Evacuated Due to Possible Hazmat Situation [Update: Resolved]

Tuesday March 15, 2022 2:12 pm PDT by
A small number of Apple employees appear to have been evacuated from the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, according to NBC Bay Area. There is little information at this time, but the news site says that a "portion" of the campus was evacuated. According Santa Clara County Fire Department Captain Justin Stockman, first responders found an envelope containing an unknown white...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Delays Corporate Return to Offices Indefinitely

Wednesday December 15, 2021 2:01 pm PST by
Apple employees are no longer going to be returning to corporate offices in February as planned due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and the newly emerging omicron variant, Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a memo sent out today. Back in November, Apple sent out a letter telling employees that Apple would expect them to start returning to the office on February 1, but that return date has now...
apple employees trio

Apple Giving Many U.S. Retail Employees Raises

Friday February 11, 2022 3:28 pm PST by
Apple is giving many of its U.S. retail employees raises ranging from two percent to 10 percent depending on location, reports Bloomberg. Salespeople, Genius Bar support staff, and some senior hourly workers are being granted pay increases. Apple is said to be boosting the pay of its retail employees because of inflation, the difficult labor market, and staff complaints about working...
apple park 416 security

Apple Asks All U.S. Employees to Share Vaccination Status, Still No Mandate

Wednesday September 1, 2021 10:23 am PDT by
Apple this week began asking all of its employees in the United States to provide details on their vaccination status, reports Bloomberg. Employees have been asked to voluntarily share whether they have been vaccinated by mid-September, and this applies to both employees working in an office and those working remotely. In a memo, Apple said that its focus is keeping "team members, their...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Sets April 11 Deadline for U.S. Employees to Return to Office

Friday March 4, 2022 7:41 am PST by
Apple has set an April 11 deadline for corporate employees in the U.S. to return to offices like Apple Park, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple is planning for a hybrid in-office and at-home work schedule going forward. The report states that Apple employees will be required to work from the office at least one day per week by April 11, at least two days per week by May 2, and at...
apple store palo alto

Apple Attracting Retail Workers With Improved Benefits

Tuesday February 8, 2022 9:17 am PST by
Apple is introducing improved benefits for its retail employees in order to attract and retain workers in the current labor market, reports Bloomberg. Updated benefits are applicable to both full time and part time employees, with Apple now offering 12 paid sick days, up from six. Sick days can be used for mental health leave, illnesses, or taking family members to the doctor. Apple is...

Popular Stories

top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
13 inch macbook pro m2 mock feature 2

M2 MacBook Pro Much Slower Than Previous Model

Friday July 1, 2022 2:24 am PDT by
Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip features a significantly slower SSD compared to the previous model, resulting in poorer performance in some workflows, it has been discovered. Specifically, it has been found that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro....