- Apple is encouraging retail employees to work from home again as it’s re-closing some Apple Stores because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Bloomberg.
- Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, made the push in a recent video to retail staff, the report said.
- Apple is also sending COVID-19 testing kits to retail and corporate employees so that they can be tested from home, according to the report.
- The company reportedly said that it does not anticipate a full return to the office for corporate locations in the Americas before the end of the year.
Apple is making another push for retail employees to work from home after it began re-closing certain stores in the United States in areas where COVID-19 cases have spiked, according to Bloomberg.
Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, encouraged store staff to work remotely in a new video message, saying that employees “may need to be working remotely for some period of time,” according to the report.
Apple recently re-closed stores in states such as Oklahoma, California, Georgia, Idaho, Texas, and Florida among others because of increases in reported coronavirus cases in those areas.
“Due to current COVID-19 conditions in some of the communities we serve, we are temporarily closing stores in these areas,” Apple said in a previous statement regarding store closures. “We take this step with an abundance of caution as we closely monitor the situation and we look forward to having our teams and customers back as soon as possible.”
O’Brien also emphasized the importance of reducing wait times as more people shop online because of the pandemic, according to the report.
“This is not the experience that we want to have for our customers,” she reportedly said. “So we really want to make sure that we are moving to where our customers are, to help them during this very challenging time. As you know people are really dependent upon their devices, especially right now.”
Apple did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Apple began asking retail employees to work from home in March, Bloomberg reported. It also offered retail employees reimbursements for work-from-home gear and access to new digital wellness tools, as Business Insider reported in April.
Now, Apple is also said to be offering both retail and corporate employees the ability to take coronavirus tests from home, according to Bloomberg.
The company also said it doesn’t anticipate a full return to the office before the end of the year for corporate locations in the Americas, according to Bloomberg. That decision comes after Apple reportedly began bringing some workers who cannot do their job from home back to the office in June, Bloomberg also reported.
Other companies like Twitter and Slack have extended their work-from-home policies.