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Apr 12, 2001
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With coronavirus outbreaks across the United States continuing to spike, Apple is finding new roles for retail staff as it closes more of its store locations and is no longer expecting corporate employees to fully return to on-campus work in the U.S. in 2020, according to Bloomberg.

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Apple has been forced to re-close many retail locations in the United States that had previously reopened, with stores in California, North Carolina, Florida, and more shuttered at the current time. In these locations, Apple is asking retail employees to work remotely in work from home support roles that the company has been offering since March.

Retail employees are able to serve as support advisors to handle online service requests and questions from customers unable to receive services in store. Apple has not made working from home in this way mandatory for retail employees and has continued to pay employee wages, but the company is now pushing retail employees unable to return to stores to participate in the work from home program as the need for customer support representatives has grown, leading to long wait times for service.
"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."
For retail employees who are able to return to work, Apple is requiring masks. Apple is providing name tag lanyards that can be customized with Memoji to help retail staff be more recognizable with masks on.

Along with encouraging retail employees to work from home, Apple has also made adjustments to its corporate plans. Apple told employees in a memo that it does not expect all of its U.S. office workers to be able to return to their jobs on site before the end of the year.

Apple's offices in Europe and Asia, however, are expected to return to normal in the coming months with all employees returning to their jobs.

Some employees began returning to Apple's Silicon Valley campuses in May. Employees who have come back to work are offered optional coronavirus testing, with Apple also shipping test kits to both its retail and corporate staff at home.

Apple is limiting the number of employees allowed in buildings and specific work areas, plus it is requiring masks and conducting temperature checks.

Article Link: Apple Not Expecting U.S. Offices to Return to Normal in 2020, Encourages Retail Staff at Closed Stores to Work Remotely
 

dragoon2745

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2017
104
378
Minneapolis, MN
So a retail employee at a closed location is continuing to be paid employee wages but can sign up to work from home as well? What's the incentive to work if you'll also be paid not to work? Are the wages/hours/benefits different between the options?
 

WingsAndBeer

Cancelled
May 24, 2019
136
192
I just wish Apple stores would remain open for curbside service. Having to wait a week for a screen repair is just a pain.

I have an 8 Plus to return and I can only do it in store, and my store has not opened since the initial shutdowns. That's $600 just sitting there I could be applying to other things. Curbside service should really be a thing right now.
 

SAIRUS

macrumors 6502a
Aug 21, 2008
697
257
With Tim Cook wanting to be more like Amazon....services...services...shipping!
 

anshuvorty

macrumors 68020
Sep 1, 2010
2,178
2,340
California, USA
So a retail employee at a closed location is continuing to be paid employee wages but can sign up to work from home as well? What's the incentive to work if you'll also be paid not to work? Are the wages/hours/benefits different between the options?

You get bored out of your mind if you are at home all day....by having work, it helps to pass the time, especially during these times.....

At least, that is my rationale to keep working from home, even though my company isn't checking up on me...
 

Attirex

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
737
1,840
God, please do help support, retail employees. Apple support right now is horrible. Appointments at local stores are booked for days and days, interminable wait times on the phone, and when I attempted to text chat with someone, they asked for my iPhone X serial (had a swollen battery), and then disappeared. Sigh.
 

homegrownhero

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2017
57
34
I have an 8 Plus to return and I can only do it in store, and my store has not opened since the initial shutdowns. That's $600 just sitting there I could be applying to other things. Curbside service should really be a thing right now.

600 descending, you mean.
since their value decreases over time
 
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Cirlonde

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2013
108
102
I think Apple could be responsible and still have stores open, albeit with practical health policies in place. Closing shop every time there is a spike in a state is not the answer.

My husband's 6s bit the dust recently and due to the new normal of working from home, he had to have an immediate replacement since it was his only way to receive work calls (otherwise, we'd never have gone to the brick and mortar store!). We ordered online for in-store pick up at the Oklahoma City location which is inside a mall. They had implemented numerous precautions and the place was still a madhouse. Security guards everywhere, temperature screenings, masks required, limited people allowed in the store at a time, everyone required to use hand sanitizer on your way in, employees were wiping down devices after every use. For us, since we were picking up an order, we weren't even allowed inside the store. We had to stand in a taped off socially distanced "box" and wait our turn. They weren't doing in-store set up for new devices either, just advising you to call Customer Support if you had trouble.

So...my point is, our Apple store was making every effort to keep things as safe as possible and I still spent the entire time wishing we hadn't gone and feeling horrible for all of the staff having to deal with that. I do think that curbside service would be a much better option for many locations, but I can't imagine how the OKC store would manage that just due to their set up.
 

Apple_Robert

macrumors Penryn
Sep 21, 2012
28,964
36,977
In the middle of several books.
My husband's 6s bit the dust recently and due to the new normal of working from home, he had to have an immediate replacement since it was his only way to receive work calls (otherwise, we'd never have gone to the brick and mortar store!). We ordered online for in-store pick up at the Oklahoma City location which is inside a mall. They had implemented numerous precautions and the place was still a madhouse. Security guards everywhere, temperature screenings, masks required, limited people allowed in the store at a time, everyone required to use hand sanitizer on your way in, employees were wiping down devices after every use. For us, since we were picking up an order, we weren't even allowed inside the store. We had to stand in a taped off socially distanced "box" and wait our turn. They weren't doing in-store set up for new devices either, just advising you to call Customer Support if you had trouble.

So...my point is, our Apple store was making every effort to keep things as safe as possible and I still spent the entire time wishing we hadn't gone and feeling horrible for all of the staff having to deal with that. I do think that curbside service would be a much better option for many locations, but I can't imagine how the OKC store would manage that just due to their set up.
I have experienced the same type of thing at my local Apple store, which is also located inside a mall. It has been closed again due to the spike in state cases. I agree with you on the curbside aspect.
 
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JoeInMilwaukee

macrumors regular
Apr 7, 2015
175
185
Milwaukee, WI
My husband's 6s bit the dust recently and due to the new normal of working from home, he had to have an immediate replacement since it was his only way to receive work calls (otherwise, we'd never have gone to the brick and mortar store!). We ordered online for in-store pick up at the Oklahoma City location which is inside a mall. They had implemented numerous precautions and the place was still a madhouse. Security guards everywhere, temperature screenings, masks required, limited people allowed in the store at a time, everyone required to use hand sanitizer on your way in, employees were wiping down devices after every use. For us, since we were picking up an order, we weren't even allowed inside the store. We had to stand in a taped off socially distanced "box" and wait our turn. They weren't doing in-store set up for new devices either, just advising you to call Customer Support if you had trouble.

So...my point is, our Apple store was making every effort to keep things as safe as possible and I still spent the entire time wishing we hadn't gone and feeling horrible for all of the staff having to deal with that. I do think that curbside service would be a much better option for many locations, but I can't imagine how the OKC store would manage that just due to their set up.

Experiences such as yours makes me reluctant to purchase an Apple product for the foreseeable future. If I have a problem with it, I don't want to have to go through this to get it serviced!
 

jerryk

Contributor
Nov 3, 2011
6,995
3,895
SF Bay Area
deleted
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I have an 8 Plus to return and I can only do it in store, and my store has not opened since the initial shutdowns. That's $600 just sitting there I could be applying to other things. Curbside service should really be a thing right now.

Can't you just return it by mail, and order replacements by mail?
 
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Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,800
7,995
New Hampshire, USA
I'm sure that a remote employee can service a computer better than an employee at the store. /S
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So grateful I was able to walk into an Apple Store in New York yesterday to get my laptop repaired because we’re actually taking the precautions seriously. We went through hell and back, and never want to go through that trauma again.

Chance are that it will be back.
 

Breaking Good

macrumors 65816
Sep 28, 2012
1,363
1,097
So they didn't need the spaceship campus after all. Maybe it can be converted into a homeless shelter

Well Apple did just pledge $400M towards affordable housing in California. Maybe this is what they have in mind.
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Experiences such as yours makes me reluctant to purchase an Apple product for the foreseeable future. If I have a problem with it, I don't want to have to go through this to get it serviced!

There are many people in the United States (and other countries) that don't live within driving distance of an Apple store and they are doing just fine with their Apple products.
 
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