Many tech companies will continue their COVID-19 pandemic-related work-from-home policies through the end of 2020. However, Apple is preparing for employees to start returning to its corporate offices around the world in the near future.
Bloomberg reports Apple has plans to bring employees back to its offices in phases over the course of a few months. The publication’s sources say the first phase will include employees that are unable to work remotely or that are facing challenges while working from home. That phase has reportedly already begun in some regions and will expand to major office locations in late May and early June.
A second phase will begin in July and will see Apple bring back even more employees into its global offices, though those plans could change based on local and state stay-at-home orders.
Apple managers this week are beginning to let employees know if they are included in phase one or will be included in a later stage of the process. First phase employees will either be asked to work from the office on a regular basis or only for certain times, depending on their duties.
Bloomberg reports some future hardware initiatives, which include virtual reality and augmented headsets, has been dialed back due to the limitations face from employees working from home. This means it is likely that those employees will be among the first to return to the office.
The work-from-home culture has long been shunned by Apple, as the company emphasizes in-person collaboration. This has likely been a huge factor in the company’s decision to begin bringing employees back into their offices, while other tech firms, such as Google and Facebook, plan to continue to allow their employees to work from home through the end of the year.
Some Apple employees have been working at Apple’s offices during the pandemic to keep business-critical operations running, which includes data centers, software deployment, and testing hardware.
As Apple employees return to the office, the company will implement the wearing of masks, temperature checks, and social distancing.