Breaking from Silicon Valley norms in the past few weeks, Bloomberg reports today that Apple will start to return some workers to the office after putting in place work-from-home procedures, as per the report:
The Cupertino, California-based technology giant plans to bring back employees in phases to its offices, including the main Apple Park campus in Silicon Valley, over a few months, according to people familiar with the plan. The first phase, which includes staff members who can’t work remotely or are facing challenges working from home, has already begun in some regions globally. It will expand to major offices across late May and early June, Apple has told staff.
The report says Apple will focus the 1st phase of shift for workers who are unable to work from home, or, who are facing challenges to the nature of their job. The 2nd phase, posied for July will move even more workers to offices around the world. In terms of the US, the report says that it is “fluid” and may change:
A second phase, scheduled to begin in July, will return even more employees to Apple’s offices globally. In the U.S., the company has locations in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Texas, San Diego and Boulder, Colorado. The return-to-work timelines are fluid and may change, particularly given local and state stay-at-home orders, said the people, who asked not to be identified talking about internal company matters.
Employees are being told by senior Apple manager this week which phase they fall under, whether the 1st, 2nd, or a phase later to be determined. Employees will reportedly be asked to continue working from home, to work from the office regularly, or only for certain shifts.
Apple will focus on returning staff who are working on hardware development, including Apple’s rumored AR glasses which has been set back due to limitations on working from home.
When looking at the competition, Apple differs. Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others are telling staff they’ll be working from home for the rest of the year. With Twitter, going to the extreme saying staff can work from home forever if they choose. As Bloomberg notes, major companies are still expected to return workers to the office as they too also have hardware division, although notable smaller than Apple’s.
Apple has still been allowing some owners to work in the office at Apple Park for roles such as managing data centers, deploying software, new product launches online which are all roles that are harder to conduct from home.