Apple continues to encourage retail employees to work remotely; not confident U.S. offices will return to normal in 2020

In light of everything changing due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has forced so many to start working from home, Apple continues to evolve its own plans as it relates to its physical retail stores and offices located in the United States.

And things aren’t looking great. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple is continuing to look for ways for retail employees to work remotely, while the company is also coming to terms with the real possibility that its offices in the U.S. won’t be returning to any state near normal before the year 2020 wraps up several months from now.

While Apple has re-opened some of its retail stores in some states in the U.S., making decisions on the matter based on COVID-19 data in those areas, the company has also been forced to re-close a lot of stores throughout the country as the pandemic continues to spike in some areas. The most recent re-closures happened in Tennessee, California, Ohio, and Maryland.

As such, Apple has already been encouraging its retail employees to shift to work-from-home alternatives. That includes online support and other options. The company has been encouraging employees to speak to their managers to work out what happens next for them, and it’s continuing to do just that.

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.

This is not the experience that we want to have for our customers,” O’Brien added. “So we really want to make sure that we are moving to where our customers are, to help them during this very challenging time. As you know people are really dependent upon their devices, especially right now.

As mentioned above, some retail stores are open, and Apple is still tweaking the experience. The company is requiring that employees wear masks while at work,

As for the corporate offices, Apple does not believe these will be returning to normal before the end of 2020. That means company executives do not expect corporate office workers to return to work at fully capacity. However, that is not the case for corporate offices in other regions, including Asia and Europe. According to the report, Apple believes these corporate locations will be humming along at normal capacity in the next few months.

None of this is at all surprising, especially in the United States. Is your Apple Store open near you? If so, have you ventured to check it out?