Apple Inc. has reportedly informed its staff and employees that a full return to its offices in the United States is unlikely to occur before 2020 end.
The American multinational technology company has currently enabled its staff to work from home to continuously cater to the customers who seek support for products over the phone. Additionally, it is shipping COVID-19 test kids to the homes of its employees. This is due to the rising cases of coronavirus-infected people. The pandemic has forced the technology company to close some of its stores in the region.
As per Dierdre O’Brien, senior VP of retail & people at Apple, the company’s initiatives that enable employees to work remotely will significantly reduce consumers’ wait times and allow it to continue assisting them amid rising challenges.
More than 90 retail locations of Apple in the U.S., out of the 271 in total, have been closed. The company has also temporarily shut down a few stores in Australia and the U.K. as well. Precautionary measures are taken in the retail locations that remained open, requiring the customers and employees to wear face masks and ensuring temperature checks upon entry. In June 2020, the company also provided on-site nasal swab tests for employees who returned to its offices.
So far in the United States, the novel coronavirus outbreak has impacted more than 3.3 million people. In order to curb the increasing spread of the virus, the U.S. has imposed strict lockdowns and other restrictions. As COVID-19 cases continue to spike, the restrictions and guidelines imposed by the government has changed the way businesses operate, with employees working remotely or from home becoming the new normal.
Apple has reportedly stated that it, however, anticipates a full resumption for several offices in Asia Pacific and Europe in the coming months.
The company did not respond immediately to requests for comments on the recent announcement.