Apple is planning the return of some employees to the Cupertino headquarters while others will continue to work from home throughout 2020 due to COVID-19.
Apple is planning the return of some employees to various offices, including many who normally work on the Apple Park campus. The first phase involves the return of staff members who cannot work remotely or have difficulty in doing so, and which has already started in some regions; other employees will return to important offices between late May and early June.
A second phase – scheduled for July – involves the return of other employees still in various offices around the world. In the United States, Apple has offices in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, San Diego and Boulder (Colorado). The return to the work calendar is not well defined – reported an unspecified source a Bloomberg – and there may be changes in consideration of state and local decisions that provide for the obligation to stay at home.
Senior managers began communicating to employees this week if they are part of the first phase or one of the next part of the process. Employees returning to the offices would have been asked to work regularly or only for certain periods, according to their role. Apple's approach is different from that adopted by other big companies in the sector, highlighting the need for face-to-face meetings with colleagues and the development of products in the field, in particular as regards the development of hardware products on which it is not always possible to work in remote.
Facebook and Google have told employees that they will be able to work from home throughout 2020; Amazon has told office workers that they will be able to work from home until late October; Twitter has made it known that anyone who wants to can work from home forever.
The first named companies work mainly in the software and services sector and therefore it is easier to manage work remotely. Facebook, Amazon and Google have divisions that deal with hardware but are smaller than the activities that Apple does overall.
The first set of employees who will return to headquarters are those dedicated to hardware development. Employees who deal with products such as the expected devices for Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality would have already been called back during the period that allowed others to work from home. Unlike the speech for Apple's software developers, many of whom are continuing to work from home and some of whom are preparing videos and demonstrations for the virtual Worldwide Developers Conference which will take place starting from June 22nd.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has already told employees that the return to work schedule will be staggered. "We don't expect, at least for now, that everyone will come back at the same time," said the CEO. Apple during a virtual meeting, explaining that the different teams will return to work at different times. Cook reported to Bloomberg TV that the return to on-site work in any case involves controlling the temperatures at the entrance, measures of social distancing and the use of masks. The managing director. Apple also reported that it is evaluating serological tests for Covid-19 for employees to perform.
Meanwhile, Apple has reopened some stores in the United States, starting from stores in South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska and Idaho. Other stores have been opened in Australia, Austria, Switzerland, South Korea and Germany. During the closing period of the retail stores, various employees worked from home dealing with telephone technical support.