How Apple Is Handling Its COVID-19 Reopening

Apple employees have begun returning to work at Apple Park, the company’s enormous headquarters in Cupertino, CA. According to a new Bloomberg report, “hardware and software engineers” have been some of the first back through the doors. But how is Apple keeping its employees safe as the COVID-19 pandemic continues? 

The Bloomberg report suggests that Apple is offering an “optional” nasal-swab test for COVID-19. Temperature checks and face masks, on the other hand, are mandatory.

New procedures have been put in place throughout Apple Park to keep employees a little more socially distanced from one another. The kitchens and breakrooms scattered throughout the campus are now closed, and there are limits on how many people can enter an elevator at the same time. 

While relatively few employees have currently returned to the office, Apple will likely need to make further changes before its entire workforce can return. Like many tech offices across the country, Apple Park boasts a number of open-plan spaces; those could end up redesigned in order to physically separate employees a little more. 

Last month, Apple employees were told that “phase one” of their reintroduction to the office would extend through June. If everything went well, “phase two” would kick off in July, with more employees returning, although Apple executives cautioned that the ebb and flow of COVID-19 infections could change those plans. 

Some of the biggest companies in tech are taking radically different approaches to reopening. For example, Google has been reintroducing employees to the office at a “slow, deliberate and incremental” pace, according to CEO Sundar Pichai, with 15 percent returning in the first wave. Other firms, though, are using the COVID epidemic to embrace remote-work on a permanent basis; both Twitter and Facebook reportedly plan to ask the majority of their employees to work from home from now on.  

What Apple is Hiring For

Recent reports suggest that Apple is hiring lots of experts in building cloud-based apps and platforms, furthering the company’s push into services. Although Apple made its fortune on hardware products such as the iPod and iPhone, hardware sales inevitably level off; in order to maintain the growth rates that investors expect, Apple must now encourage its customers to sign up for digital products such as Apple Arcade. Here’s a breakdown of the roles that the company is hiring for at the moment:

Apple also wants technologists who are proficient in many standard technologies and programming languages, including Python, C++, and Java; that’s in addition to its interest in technologists who have mastered the fundamentals of machine learning and A.I. 

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