Apple Developing Hybrid ‘Retail Flex’ Work From Home Program for Apple Store Employees

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Apple is developing a hybrid work model for its retail employees that would sometimes allow them to work from home, reports Bloomberg.

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It may sound unusual for a retail employee to work from home, but in this case, it means that workers would be able to take on at-home support shifts in addition to their in-store shifts.

A “Retail Flex” pilot program is set to debut, which will see at-home employees handling online sales, customer service, and technical support as Apple expects that many people will continue to prefer online shopping over in-person shopping.

Apple retail stores were closed for much of 2020 amid the ongoing health crisis, but all retail locations have now reopened and are operational. When the pilot program launches, workers will move between their store and remote roles depending on demand in stores vs. online shopping at different times during the year. Salaries will remain constant regardless of where an employee is working.

Participants in the Retail Flex program are being asked to participate for at least six months, with the initiative to ramp up from September to December when new devices are set to launch. Employees will be reimbursed for some internet expenses and will receive $100 to put toward office equipment.

For corporate employees, Apple is implementing a work schedule that will see them returning to the office for three days a week starting in September. Some employees petitioned Apple for a more remote friendly work environment that would allow them to work from home permanently, but Apple’s retail and people lead Deirdre O’Brien clarified that Apple’s in-person work schedule is non-negotiable as in-person work is “essential” to Apple product development and company culture.

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