Apple's CEO Informs employees during a virtual meeting that work from Home will extend to at least June 2021
Back in mid-April Apple's CEO led its first company-wide virtual meeting with employees at home to address concerns about the impact of COVID-19 and more specifically about the company's plan to return to work.
During that meeting, Cook called the pandemic an "uncertain and stressful moment," but expressed confidence that the company would emerge strongly from this crisis as they have a strong balance sheet and stressed that the company will keep investing in a "really significant way" in research and development and future products.
Flashing forward, Apple's CEO Tim Cook updated the company's plan as to when they could reasonably expect to return to work during a virtual town hall meeting held yesterday with employees.
In general, Cook stated that the majority of teams wouldn't be back before June 2021. While Cook has been adamant publicly about his desire for staff to ultimately return to the office, he implied during the meeting that due to the company’s success this year during the pandemic, the lockdown could enable more flexibility to work remotely in the future.
Cook stated that while "There’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results. All of these learnings are important. When we’re on the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve everything that is great about Apple while incorporating the best of our transformations this year," sources told Bloomberg.
Of course, not all executives held the same view of the lockdown. Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering, called remote work a "huge challenge" for device design that is usually done in lab settings. He said travel restrictions in March were particularly tough because that is when engineers typically travel to China to help kick off manufacturing of products launching in the fall.
Apple worked around this, with engineers controlling robots from home and using iPads with augmented-reality software to guide technicians in overseas factories, Riccio said. Riccio added that staff also worked different hours to communicate better with staff already stationed in China. The "very best is yet to come," according to Riccio.
During the virtual meeting, Johny Srouji, head of custom chip development, told staff about a cellular modem that went into development this year. For more on this, read the full report from Yahoo! Finance.