Apple Asks Retail Staff to Work from Home as COVID-19 Cases Spike in U.S.

Bloomberg reports Apple is asking its retail store staff in the United States to start working from home, as COVID-19 cases spike in certain parts of the country.

Apple senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O’Brien, told staff in a video memo on the weekend to sign for the company’s work from home program, as some stores have re-closed due to COVID-19 cases spiking up again.

“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,” said O’Brien in the video, adding, “We may need to be working remotely for some period of time.”

Longer than normal wait times for customer service are occurring for Apple shoppers as most have started shopping online.

“This is not the experience that we want to have for our customers,” said O’Brien. “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.”

Bloomberg says over 90 Apple Stores in the U.S. have re-closed due to COVID-19 spikes, out of 271 locations in the country. Other locations in the UK and Australia have similarly re-closed due to a surge in COVID-19 cases.

As of writing, all of Apple’s 29 retail stores remain open across Canada, as the last stores to open in the Greater Toronto Area occurred last month. Apple is requiring customers to wear masks (they will be supplied), take temperature checks and also social distance while inside retail stores.