- Apple employees will start returning to work over the next few weeks.
- The first wave of Apple employees returning to work will primarily be engineers responsible for hardware development.
- Some of Apple’s hardware projects have been slightly delayed on account of the coronavirus lockdown.
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After two-plus months of strict lockdown measures, select Apple employees will start returning to the company’s offices over the next few weeks. Originally brought to light via Bloomberg, the report notes that Apple’s return-to-work initiative will be conducted in phases.
The first group of employees set to return to work later this month will primarily consist of engineers responsible for hardware development. While work on software like iOS 14 has remained ongoing during the lockdown, a number of Apple’s hardware projects simply can’t be worked on in a home environment. Consequently, developmental milestones for a few of Apple’s more ambitious projects, such as the company’s rumored Augmented Reality glasses, have been pushed back a bit.
Interestingly, Apple’s decision to have employees return to work stands in stark contrast to a number of other high-profile tech companies in Silicon Valley. Both Facebook and Google, for example, recently said they will allow its employees to work from home through the end of the year. While offices at both companies may re-open in a limited capacity sometime in July or August, employees who can dutifully carry out their job responsibilities at home will be encouraged to do so.
Twitter, meanwhile, is taking a much more cautious approach. Yesterday morning, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sent out an email to employees stating that they can continue working from home permanently if they want.
Dorsey’s email reads:
We were uniquely positioned to respond quickly and allow folks to work from home given our emphasis on decentralization and supporting a distributed workforce capable of working from anywhere. The past few months have proven we can make that work. So if our employees are in a role and situation that enables them to work from home and they want to continue to do so forever, we will make that happen.
Of course, Twitter employees who prefer commuting to an office will have that option as well.
The obvious difference between Apple and the aforementioned tech companies is that Apple has hardware to develop, whereas a company like Google, which does have its own hardware, is still more of a software-oriented company.
Returning to Apple, the company last week said it will start opening up a handful of retail stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska. Apple store re-openings will be done on a store-by-store basis, which is to say stores in densely populated areas like New York City will likely remain closed for the foreseeable future.