Apple proposes Cupertino employees work from home during coronavirus outbreak

Posted:
in General Discussion edited June 2020
Employees at Apple's California campuses are told to work from home as an "extra precaution" during the ongoing outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.



Apple has begun encouraging it's Apple Park and Infinite Loop-based employees to work from home if possible, attempting to prevent unnecessary spread of COVID-19, according to Business Insider.

Apple has not made a public statement regarding the move, so it's not clear what percentage of employees would be telecommuting for the time being. Currently, it is believed that this is only a suggestion rather than a requirement.

The report comes shortly after Thursday's announcement from the Santa Clara public health department warning about the risks of large public gatherings. As COVID-19 spreads in the United States, Apple's WWDC is likely in jeopardy.

Specifically, companies operating in the county are asked to suspend nonessential employee travel, minimize close employee contact at work, cancel large meetings and conferences, and urge employees to stay home when they are sick, among other measures.

Apple is taking additional steps to curb potential COVID-19 fallout and has restricted employee travel to Italy and South Korea. The company also withdrew from SXSW 2020, where it planned to premiere three Apple TV+ originals.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    ransonranson Posts: 44member
    i have friends who work in Cupertino. One of them (who works in one of the Mary's, not Apple Park or Campus) said she was biking to work this morning when an email came through saying to work from home. She got to the office, the lot was empty, and was told by security to work from home until told otherwise.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    thttht Posts: 4,436member
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 12
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,113member
    tht said:
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    Smart company.

    If there is a silver lining to this, it's for corporate America to further embrace telecommute. Not just for disease prevention, but to ease the traffic and housing problems in urban areas. So many of us are knowledge workers and don't need to be in the office every day. (My current contract is one which allows me to work full-time remotely. In almost 5 years I've never met or even seen my boss; our team works via email, phone, and IM). 
    ravnorodomJanNLCarnage
  • Reply 4 of 12
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    tht said:
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    Smart company.

    In almost 5 years I've never met or even seen my boss
    So that’s how you get to spend so much time on Internet forums 😉
    ravnorodomentropysctt_zhJWSCn2itivguyCarnage
  • Reply 5 of 12
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,497member
    Telecommuting is not for everyone, in fact for most people, even in computer based activities. Some people just need that face to face interaction to do a decent day’s work.
    I have a team of 37 people and we are exploring how we can operate with the majority of people working from home. Policy peeps not a problem, although work insists on skype as the V/C tool.  Especially with regional people, bandwidth is the killer for Skype.  I haven’t tried the office 365 version yet though.
    For the larger team that process claims of assistance, the database and interface is old. I have driven a few upgrades as budget allows over the last five years, but workflow will has to change quite significantly, and some of the accountability requirements loosened considerably if the processing is to be totally sans paper at remote locations. An option is to have an earnest young courier trucking around wads of peoples’ personal details about, but that is a security issue, let alone the personal contact wrecks the whole reason for working from home in the first place. We are running WFH tests over the next two weeks, but will have to get auditor sign off on the workflow and payment systems.

    And that is before you start on the myriad WH&S issues HR (and no doubt lawyers) can dream up.

    Point is WFH is not as easy an option for many jobs as people think.
    edited March 2020 JWSCn2itivguyCarnage
  • Reply 6 of 12
    seanismorrisseanismorris Posts: 1,624member
    ranson said:
    i have friends who work in Cupertino. One of them (who works in one of the Mary's, not Apple Park or Campus) said she was biking to work this morning when an email came through saying to work from home. She got to the office, the lot was empty, and was told by security to work from home until told otherwise.
    That’s smart.  But, a bit scary we’re to that point already.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,303member
    hentaiboy said:
    tht said:
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    Smart company.

    In almost 5 years I've never met or even seen my boss
    So that’s how you get to spend so much time on Internet forums 😉
    If your work productivity is based on delivery of time-bounded project deliverables I really don't care if you're surfing internet forums or watching soap operas on TV. As long as you're meeting your project commitments and quality requirements - whatever it takes is fine by me. 

    I think the burden on companies that support widespread working-from-home (WFH) is greater than it is for the employees. Companies sacrifice many economies of scale and informal collaboration benefits when they invest gobs of money into building facilities to bring people together and nobody shows up to reap the benefits. In my experience the human and technical communication costs go up significantly and you have to revisit a lot of basic infrastructure decisions that were made before WFH was an option. For example, centralized source code control systems like Clearcase become more difficult and costly to manage when you have many remote users and limited WAN bandwidth. If you'd planned ahead for WFH maybe Git would have been a wiser choice.

    WFH is neither inherently good nor bad. The only issue is when there's a big mismatch between the executional model that you designed your organization to use and the one that you are forced to use. If you've been deeply immersed in highly distributed development, WFH is not a big deal at all because you've already paid for and implemented most of the infrastructure changes needed to make it work well.  But as I mentioned earlier, individual productivity should not be affected by where you do your work as lomg as you have everything that you need available to you to do your job. For many organizations, including ones that I've been heavily invlved with, WFH is only one variation of several non-incidental working environments that many technical people have to deal with. There's also working remotely at a customer site, working onboard ships at sea, working inside factories during start-up, working in plants during production operations, working offsite as part of a working group, etc. In none of these cases is there a "supervisor" looking over your shoulder to make sure you're doing your job. It's up to you to deliver regardless of your physical work location.
    n2itivguy
  • Reply 8 of 12
    I’ve completed my second day of work-from-home at MS in King county, WA since the official word is people are recommended to work from home if they can, for those in the Redmond area.

    While I’m not above 50 (close!) I do fall into a higher-risk category, so I’m concerned: more concerned about timing because right now I’m scheduled for surgery Tuesday to get 4 kidney stones removed, while dealing with an infection from that and bleeding from the kidney, so I really can’t afford to wait.
  • Reply 9 of 12
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 402member
    dewme said:
    hentaiboy said:
    tht said:
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    Smart company.

    In almost 5 years I've never met or even seen my boss
    So that’s how you get to spend so much time on Internet forums 😉
    If your work productivity is based on delivery of time-bounded project deliverables I really don't care if you're surfing internet forums or watching soap operas on TV. As long as you're meeting your project commitments and quality requirements - whatever it takes is fine by me. 

    I think the burden on companies that support widespread working-from-home (WFH) is greater than it is for the employees. Companies sacrifice many economies of scale and informal collaboration benefits when they invest gobs of money into building facilities to bring people together and nobody shows up to reap the benefits. In my experience the human and technical communication costs go up significantly and you have to revisit a lot of basic infrastructure decisions that were made before WFH was an option. For example, centralized source code control systems like Clearcase become more difficult and costly to manage when you have many remote users and limited WAN bandwidth. If you'd planned ahead for WFH maybe Git would have been a wiser choice.

    WFH is neither inherently good nor bad. The only issue is when there's a big mismatch between the executional model that you designed your organization to use and the one that you are forced to use. If you've been deeply immersed in highly distributed development, WFH is not a big deal at all because you've already paid for and implemented most of the infrastructure changes needed to make it work well.  But as I mentioned earlier, individual productivity should not be affected by where you do your work as lomg as you have everything that you need available to you to do your job. For many organizations, including ones that I've been heavily invlved with, WFH is only one variation of several non-incidental working environments that many technical people have to deal with. There's also working remotely at a customer site, working onboard ships at sea, working inside factories during start-up, working in plants during production operations, working offsite as part of a working group, etc. In none of these cases is there a "supervisor" looking over your shoulder to make sure you're doing your job. It's up to you to deliver regardless of your physical work location.
    Not to mention the insurance around worker's compensation when WFH. Get this.. HR (Human Remains) required me to provide photos of my desk and chair to indicate ergonomics was acceptable. I had to provide a photo of the area around the desk to prove no trip hazards existed (what about the cat?). I had to provide a photo of the electrical connections under the desk. I had to provide a floor plan with the location of the ceiling smoke detectors marked. I had to provide a photo of the house's electrical safety switch. I had to provide an emergency exit plan. Mind you, this is from a government employer in which bureaucracy is an endless 'do-loop' (and the army of staff that support it) rather than actually providing a cost-effective efficient public service.
    dewme
  • Reply 10 of 12
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,843member
    I quit working in the corporate world a couple of years ago. My last employer let employees work from home occasionally (if their position was suitable) but I chose not to even though I had done it at previous employers over the past 25+ years (yes, since the mid-Nineties).

    I like the camaraderie of working with people I like. If you don't like the people you work with, get a new job.

    I found working from home was that there is more pressure to do work at any waking hour, as well as on weekends.  My last job, when I closed my office door, I was done with work for the day. Also, I never let the IT department configure my personal phone for work e-mail. They offered to buy me phones and cover my cellular service; I politely refused that as well.

    I liked the work-home separation when I worked in a corporate setting.

    Today, I work at home but I work for myself.

  • Reply 11 of 12
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 1,065member
    tht said:
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    Smart company.

    If there is a silver lining to this, it's for corporate America to further embrace telecommute. Not just for disease prevention, but to ease the traffic and housing problems in urban areas. So many of us are knowledge workers and don't need to be in the office every day. (My current contract is one which allows me to work full-time remotely. In almost 5 years I've never met or even seen my boss; our team works via email, phone, and IM). 
    If people can do that, more power to them. On the other hand, I worked in a packed hockey arena last night setting up a WWE televised event for 18,000 screaming fans to broadcast to several billion people all around the world. Work from home, but please keep buying tickets...it’s my livelyhood!
  • Reply 12 of 12
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,249member
    kimberly said:
    dewme said:
    hentaiboy said:
    tht said:
    We are doing a telework from home exercise today for my work. It just practice for the real deal. Like, making sure the VPN can handle the load.
    Smart company.

    In almost 5 years I've never met or even seen my boss
    So that’s how you get to spend so much time on Internet forums 😉
    If your work productivity is based on delivery of time-bounded project deliverables I really don't care if you're surfing internet forums or watching soap operas on TV. As long as you're meeting your project commitments and quality requirements - whatever it takes is fine by me. 

    I think the burden on companies that support widespread working-from-home (WFH) is greater than it is for the employees. Companies sacrifice many economies of scale and informal collaboration benefits when they invest gobs of money into building facilities to bring people together and nobody shows up to reap the benefits. In my experience the human and technical communication costs go up significantly and you have to revisit a lot of basic infrastructure decisions that were made before WFH was an option. For example, centralized source code control systems like Clearcase become more difficult and costly to manage when you have many remote users and limited WAN bandwidth. If you'd planned ahead for WFH maybe Git would have been a wiser choice.

    WFH is neither inherently good nor bad. The only issue is when there's a big mismatch between the executional model that you designed your organization to use and the one that you are forced to use. If you've been deeply immersed in highly distributed development, WFH is not a big deal at all because you've already paid for and implemented most of the infrastructure changes needed to make it work well.  But as I mentioned earlier, individual productivity should not be affected by where you do your work as lomg as you have everything that you need available to you to do your job. For many organizations, including ones that I've been heavily invlved with, WFH is only one variation of several non-incidental working environments that many technical people have to deal with. There's also working remotely at a customer site, working onboard ships at sea, working inside factories during start-up, working in plants during production operations, working offsite as part of a working group, etc. In none of these cases is there a "supervisor" looking over your shoulder to make sure you're doing your job. It's up to you to deliver regardless of your physical work location.
    Not to mention the insurance around worker's compensation when WFH. Get this.. HR (Human Remains) required me to provide photos of my desk and chair to indicate ergonomics was acceptable. I had to provide a photo of the area around the desk to prove no trip hazards existed (what about the cat?). I had to provide a photo of the electrical connections under the desk. I had to provide a floor plan with the location of the ceiling smoke detectors marked. I had to provide a photo of the house's electrical safety switch. I had to provide an emergency exit plan. Mind you, this is from a government employer in which bureaucracy is an endless 'do-loop' (and the army of staff that support it) rather than actually providing a cost-effective efficient public service.
    There was a case in Australia where a WFH worker successfully sued her company after slipping on her stairs while wearing socks. She was on her way to the fridge to get cough medicine.

    In litigious countries, HR has every right to be careful.
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