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
22 weeks 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
22 weeks 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
22 weeks 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
22 weeks 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
22 weeks 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
22 weeks 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 park drone june 2018 2

Apple Employees Expected to Return to Offices in February

Thursday November 18, 2021 10:02 am PST by
Apple employees are expected to begin returning to corporate offices starting on February 1, according to a memo Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out to staff today. The memo, obtained by The Information, says that employees will return under the hybrid work pilot that was announced earlier this year. Starting in February, employees will work at Apple's campuses and offces for one to two days each...
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 park drone june 2018 2

Apple Requiring Unvaccinated Corporate Employees to Be Tested for COVID-19 Daily

Wednesday October 20, 2021 2:25 pm PDT by
Apple corporate employees who are unvaccinated or who have not shared their vaccination status with Apple will need to undergo a COVID-19 test each time they come into the office, reports Bloomberg. An employee going into the office on a daily basis would need to be tested each day of the week under the new rules. Apple is still stopping short of implementing a vaccine mandate that would...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Employees Continue to Fight Return to Campuses and Push for Better Remote Working Options

Monday July 19, 2021 11:09 am PDT by
Apple has made it clear that most of its employees will not be able to work remotely on a permanent basis, but that isn't stopping some corporate staff from continuing to push for more relaxed remote working rules, reports Recode. In a new petition that went out this week, employees are asking Apple to allow employees to work from home on a more permanent basis. Apple has agreed to a hybrid...
appleparkempty

Apple Delays Return to Office for Employees Until At Least January

Friday August 20, 2021 12:21 am PDT by
Apple has delayed its plan to return employees back to the office until at least January, due to concerns over an increase in COVID-19 cases and the possible emergence of new variants, Bloomberg reports. Apple had previously planned to return to in-person work by early September, but the company delayed that timeline until October. Now, due to continued concerns, that timeframe has been...
apple park 416 security

Apple Employees Increasingly Content to Criticize the Company Amid Switch Remote Working and Use of Slack

Thursday August 26, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Some Apple staff feel more confident to speak about their employer amongst themselves, to the press, and on social media due to the company's switch to remote working and increased use of Slack over the past year, The Information reports. Apple's Slack became a "virtual town square" at the company, providing a platform for employees to protest the return to in-person work, decisions to hire...
apple park 416 security

Apple Expands Efforts to Vaccinate Employees, But Doesn't Mandate Vaccines

Friday August 27, 2021 12:52 pm PDT by
Apple is further pushing its employees in the United States to get vaccinated now that the Food and Drug Administration has officially approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, reports Bloomberg. Apple has launched a new internal web page, sent out an employee memo, and is holding internal talks as part of its vaccination campaign."Apple is asking everyone who has access to the vaccine and is...
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...

Popular Stories

Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
airpods prototype translucent

Transparent AirPods and 29W Power Adapter Prototypes Surface in Photos

Tuesday November 30, 2021 7:16 am PST by
Images of transparent prototype AirPods and a 29W Apple power adapter have been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti. The prototypes, which appear to be either first-generation or second-generation AirPods, feature clear plastic along the stem and around the outer side of the earbud, with the normal white plastic on the inner side of the earbud. Transparent casings are ...