Apple promises to be ‘flexible, collaborative and accommodating’ to parents and caregivers working from home

As we rolled into March, Apple was encouraging employees to work from home if they could. Now, with May right around the corner, working from home has become the new normal.

That is certainly the case for Silicon Valley and the giant tech companies that reside there. A new report from CNET today outlines how many of those companies, including Apple, Uber, Facebook, Google, and others are making changes to accommodate not only the new work-from-home reality, but to make life a little bit easier for employees that have families and for the caregivers trying to make life easier for others during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The report sheds light on how many companies are trying to make changes for families and caregivers, understanding that the work-life balance has shifted in a major way for many. Some companies have extended paid family leave plans, including Google and Facebook. According to the report, almost 1,000 employees have signed a company letter thanking Google for the new plan.

Meanwhile, Facebook has also done something similar, something different for the social network:

Facebook followed a similar model for its roughly 45,000 employees, announcing in March that it will provide up to four weeks paid leave while schools are closed. It also encouraged managers to offer their staff flexible work hours or even additional time off to help manage family life in the midst of the crisis.

Now, for Apple, it’s about communication right at the top. The company says that it has increased communication with managers and employees since the pandemic began. Apple says that it has told its 137,000 employees that if they need help of any kind they should ask their managers. However, the company has also instructed managers to be more proactive in helping employees as well. That could mean being more flexible with working hours, including reducing schedules.

No deadline is too important, and no priority is more urgent, than caring for our loved ones. Our goal is to be flexible, collaborative and accommodating of every parent and caregiver on our teams,” said Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet. “This is a trying time for everyone — especially parents — and we want to do all we can to support every member of our Apple family.

The full report is absolutely worth a read. The transition to working from home can be disruptive to a lot of families, especially those with young kids and daycares being shut down. Still, it’s good to hear that companies are adapting.