Apple encourages retail staff to work from home to help customers, as more than 90 stores in the United States have been forced to close due to COVID-19 spikes. The company also sends COVID-19 test kits to staff by mail. Although a small number of office workers have returned, the company seems pessimistic about the complete return to American offices this year (via Bloomberg News).
In a video sent to staff over the weekend, the Senior Vice-President, Retail and People, Deirdre O’Brien, said:
If your store is closed, please sign up for Retail at Home, please speak to your manager, as we really need to make sure that we are moving our teams to accommodate our customers remotely at this time. We may have to work remotely for a while.
“This is not the experience we want to have for our customers,” added Ms. O’Brien. “So we really want to make sure that we move to where our customers are, to help them during this very difficult time. As you know, people really depend on their devices, especially right now. “
In addition, in a note sent last month, Apple downplayed the possibility of a full return to the office in 2020. It said that management “currently does not anticipate a full return until the end of the year” in the offices of the Americas. However, the company “anticipates a full recovery will take place in the coming months depending on local conditions” in “many” offices in the Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. It is also understood that staff receive COVID-19 test kits by mail from the company which they can send to test centers.