Some Apple employees will return to the company’s global offices soon, according to Bloomberg. Apple’s decision to bring employees back to its offices — including its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California — contrasts with some other large tech companies, many of which have extended work from home polices due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Apple is planning to have employees to return in phases over a few months. The first phase focuses on employees who are unable to do their jobs from home or who are “facing challenges working from home,” reports Bloomberg. This will likely include employees who work on the company’s hardware products, and some employees who are part of this phase have apparently already started working at Apple’s offices again. More employees will return to Apple’s offices in a second phase of the plan that’s scheduled to start in July.
It’s unclear what changes Apple may make in its offices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as improving ventilation. But some employees asked to return may only have to be in the office for certain amounts of time, according to Bloomberg, and CEO Tim Cook reportedly told employees in April that temperature checks and social distancing would likely be implemented when employees return.
Some other major tech companies are not asking employees to return to offices as quickly as Apple is. Both Google and Facebook will allow most employees to work from home through the rest of the year, Amazon will let employees work from home until “at least” October 2nd, and Twitter is letting employees work from home indefinitely as of Tuesday.
Apple also plans to open some of its retail stores after closing all of them outside of China on March 14th. Some stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska will apparently be opened sometime this week, and employees will have to submit to temperature checks and wear masks.