Apple offers work from home option to employees amid coronavirus outbreak

Apple offers work from home option to employees amid coronavirus outbreak

As the global spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected several countries and has become a challenging event for the entire world, Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to have found a possible solution for the tech giant.

Cook recently announced that the company will be offering work-from-home (WFH) arrangements to employees from different global offices if their job allows. The assignment is slated to run from March 9 to 13.

This policy is the best possible alternative for employees to work without affecting business operations and employee efficiency.

In a memo floated by the company, Cook has encouraged employees in California and Seattle to work remotely.

Cook mentioned that it impacts areas with the greatest density of infections, applying the policy to Apple’s corporate offices in Elk Grove and Santa Clara Valley areas in California, Seattle, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Italy, France, Switzerland, and the U.K.

Precautionary health measures mandated

Apart from this work-from-home campaign, Apple is making a major effort to minimize human density at the workplace and ensure mental safety for teams working on-site.

While talking about the hourly workers, Cook said that they will continue to receive pay in alignment with the business-as-usual operations as per the same protocol followed by Amazon, Alphabet Inc, and Facebook.

Talking about the precautionary measure, the company advised employees that are febrile or showing any symptoms of coronavirus to stay at home until they are fully recovered.

Moreover, the mobile giant advised them to avoid touching their faces and wash their hands on a regular basis, and fulfill quarantine procedures after returning from infected areas.

The company has also restricted travel to areas heavily affected by the virus, including China, Italy, and South Korea.

Coronavirus and business crisis

Currently, coronavirus is the biggest global issue that has cost businesses millions of dollars and, most grievously, has claimed thousands of lives.

The virus has already forced Apple Inc. to pull off its guidance of around US$63 billion [AU$97 billion] in revenue for the March quarter.

With the instant impact of the virus, Apple was forced to shut down all of its 42 retail stores based in mainland China, but it has recently re-opened the spaces in almost all the locations.

Apple has consequently slowed down its supply chain work, causing the tech giant to face supply constraints for both iPhones and iPad Pros.

Tech employees contracted coronavirus

As of this writing, one Apple employee in Ireland has been confirmed to be affected by the virus. The infected employee remains in self-isolation, and Apple reported that the risk of infecting others is low.

Google also confirmed in February that one of its Zurich employees have contracted coronavirus. Amazon and Microsoft employees in Washington have also tested positive, and the companies have instructed employees to work from home.

How coronavirus is impacting the world’s biggest tech giants

Other tech giants encouraging WFH arrangements

Tech giants such as Twitter, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft are also “strongly encouraging” work-from-home arrangements globally and restricting employee travel as a precautionary measure.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also released an announcement via Twitter that a similar policy will also apply to Square, an e-commerce company where he is also CEO:

Amazon is also offering paid sick leave to all employees diagnosed with coronavirus or put into quarantine.

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