- Apple CEO says most employees won’t return to offices until June
- Apple will also be giving employees in several regions additional paid holiday until 4th of January
- Tim Cook accepts “There’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration,”
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on Apple Inc. Tim Cook shared new information on the company’s plans on allowing its employees returning to the offices during a virtual town hall meeting with its employees on Thursday.
Tik Cook said that it “seems likely” that the majority of the company’s employees will not come back to the offices before June 2021. The Cupertino based global tech giant has historically had an office-centric culture, but the CEO has implied that the company’s success this year even with the pandemic induced lockdown could let the firm be more flexible to work remotely in the future.
However, Cook has been publicly adamant of his views for the employees and staff members to ultimately return to the office.
Cook told his staff that “there’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results”.
He added, “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.”
Cook also said that due to the challenges put up in the recent month, the company will be giving its employees, in several regions, an additional paid holiday scheduled for the 4th of January.
Other companies which include Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., has also offered its staff with extra paid off recently.
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Apple’s CEO also noted that the company’s employee donation program has seen its strongest year ever. Since the program began, over $591 million has been donated to charities and when consolidated, Apple’s employees have volunteered more the 1.6 million (16 lakh) hours which more than 66,666 days.
Cook said that Apple is making donation worth $ 5 million to organisations which are helping those impacted by the COVID-19.
Several other Apple executives spoke during the town hall meeting, including the chiefs of retail, legal, environment, marketing, services, hardware engineering, software development, operations and machine learning.
Senior Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple, Dan Riccio, called remote work a “huge challenge” for device design which is generally done in lab testing. Riccio said that due to the restriction on travel put in place it became even tougher owing to the restrictions it posed to the engineers who travel to China at this time to kick off the manufacturing of Apple’s products for their launch 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. Staff also worked different hours to communicate better with staff already stationed in China. The “very best is yet to come,” Riccio added. The company is focused on developing augmented-reality and virtual-reality hardware products for debut in coming years, Bloomberg News has reported.
Johny Srouji, head of custom chip development, told staff about a cellular modem that went into development this year.
Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams said Apple’s design team “discovered new ways of working” remotely, while operations executive Sabih Khan praised his team’s ability to produce products this year with minimal delays. Eddy Cue discussed Apple’s services performance this year, Lisa Jackson discussed Apple’s climate pledge, Deirdre O’Brien talked up retail efforts in the midst of Covid-19, while John Giannandrea discussed AI efforts, including sharing that Apple moved up the release of its Apple Watch hand washing feature to this year.