Some good news for Apple employees in the US, as the company plans to ship COVID-19 testing kits to its remote workers. With these kits, Apple employees working at home can get tested without leaving their houses.
Apple Exercises Caution
In a report from CNN Business, Apple confirms this plan to ship out testing kits. Amid the skyrocketing cases of COVID-19 in the United States, the company has exercised extreme caution. Shipping out testing kits to their remote employees is its latest measure.
Last June, CNN reported that Apple has begun offering tests to employees returning to work. The company brought its workers back to its Cupertino, California headquarters. Once there, they got nasal-swab tests for the virus. After that, they also underwent temperature checks. Then, office personnel also checked their masks. Apple also installed more safety precautions in the office. Only two persons can now take elevators. Before, they could fit ten.
In response to the pandemic, Apple has closed 91 Apple stores in the US. Apple had built stores in 271 locations across the country. Some remaining stores have limited transactions to “curbside pickup.” Yet, a few stores still allow personal sales. For these stores, employees and customers alike undergo strict temperature checks.
Apple has also closed some of its international offices and retail outlets. Last March, Apple had closed all its stores across the US. CNN’s Apple coronavirus tracker said they had reopened around 100 stores last May. But as COVID-19 cases spiked in several US states, Apple decided to shut down about 70 stores. These stores included the ones in Texas and Florida. Texas and Florida are just two of the states reeling the most from COVID-19.
Responses from Other Tech Companies
In April, Amazon has said that it began to develop a testing lab for its employees. Critics have lashed at Amazon for not keeping its warehouse workers safe from the virus. CEO Jeff Bezos has said they have assembled an Amazon team for office testing. Employees from various units joined up to develop “new tools to test for COVID-19.”
Last month, Twitter also allowed its employees to work from home “forever.” But this is only if their jobs don’t require them at the office.
Google has also said it plans to reopen some stores by July 6. They plan to return office operations to 30% by September.
Is Remote Work the Future?
The pandemic has affected ordinary life in various ways. Companies are now shifting to online work. They also have to rethink the regular 9 to 5 workday. Workers also have to alter their routines. With current technology, people don’t have to go to the office. As the virus shows no sign of going away, businesses have to embrace remote work to stay healthy.