Apple Park photo of the side of the main buildingSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple says its offices in the US will not reach a full return before the end of the year.
  • The company is also encouraging retail workers for closed stores to work remotely.
  • COVID-19 tests are being sent to employee's homes.

Apple has been keeping many of its corporate employees in the United States remote for the last few months. According to a new report from Bloomberg, remote work for those employees could be extended until at least 2021.

According to an internal memo sent to staff last month, the company has said that it does not anticipate a full return to offices across the United States by the end of 2020. It does, however, see such a possibility for offices outside of the US in Asia and Europe.

The company has also shared new information on its plan to return to offices. In a memo to staff last month, the company said, "We currently do not anticipate a full return before the end of the year" for offices in the Americas, but that it does "anticipate full resumption will take place over the coming months based on local conditions" for "many" offices in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe.

In addition to its plans to stay remote for corporate employees, the company is also asking retail employees whose stores have closed to sign up for remote work as well. Deirdre O'Brien, Apple's senior vice president of retail and people, sent a video to retail employees over the weekend encouraging them to work remotely to support customers where they are now.

"If your store is closed, please sign up for Retail at Home, please talk to your manager, because we really need to make sure that we shift our teams to greet our customers remotely in this time," O'Brien told staff in the video. "We may need to be working remotely for some period of time."

Apple had already been providing COVID-19 testing at its corporate offices for the employees who needed to work there, but it is also now sending testing packets to employee's homes.

The company has also started a program that allows retail and corporate employees working remotely to take Covid-19 tests at home. The tests will be shipped to employees, and then the kit can be sent to a testing site for processing. Last month, Apple started letting corporate employees returning to its offices take on-site Covid-19 nasal swab tests.

Apple has been monitoring and closing its offices and stores as needed for the last few months and, according to this report, the company is anticipating remote work may become an extended reality for many very soon.