Apple is asking some of its retail employees to work from home as the coronavirus pandemic is causing many of its stores to continue to close.
The technology giant closed all branches outside of China in mid-March as the pandemic worsened. At the beginning of May, the company started to reopen some of its locations. More recently in the U.S., spikes in COVID-19 cases have forced the company to close some of its stores again to protect its employees and slow the spread of the virus.
Deirdre O & # 39; Brien, senior vice president of retail and human resources at Apple, worried that some customers are starting to wait long for support due to the closure of their local Apple store, and is now asking those who work in stores where is currently closed According to a Bloomberg report on Monday, July 13th, we offer online and phone support to customers who are interested in purchasing products or who need assistance with an Apple issue.
In a video message sent to retail employees over the weekend, O & # 39; Brien said, "If your shop is closed, please register for the home retail store and speak to your manager as we really do need to make sure we switch teams to greet our customers remotely during this time. "
O & # 39; Brien noted that some customers have "significant" waiting times and said this was "not the experience we want our customers to have". The company wants to make sure that it can offer effective help in this very challenging time, "With a lot of people" really depending on their devices, right now. "
The executive added that given the current pandemic conditions, "we may have to work remotely for some time."
More than 90 of Apple's 291 retail stores in the United States are currently closed due to ongoing coronavirus outbreaks across the country. Businesses that can continue to work have introduced a number of new methods to protect employees and customers from possible infections. Measures include temperature checks on the door, face masks for customers and employees, regular cleaning of the devices displayed and limitation of the number of visitors at a certain point in time.
Regarding its office workers, Apple recently announced that remote working will continue for most of its employees in North America until at least the end of this year, although the situation is still being investigated by location.
Digital Trends asked Apple for more information on its strategy to reopen its retail stores. We will update this article as soon as we learn about it.