- “It seems likely” most teams will not return before June 2021: Tim Cook
- He has been adamant about his desire for staff to return to the office.
- Apple has historically had an office-centric culture
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook shared new details about the company’s plan to return to the office during a virtual meeting with employees Thursday.
Cook said it “seems likely” most teams won’t return before June 2021. The Cupertino, California-based tech giant has historically had an office-centric culture, but the CEO hinted that success from the company this year during the Pandemic Lockdown could allow more flexibility to work remotely in the future.
Still, Cook has been publicly adamant about his desire for staff to finally return to the office.
“There is no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a lot about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results,” he told staff, according to people familiar with the comments. . “All of these learnings are important. When we are on the other side of this pandemic, we will preserve all the good things about Apple while incorporating the best of our transformations this year.”
Cook added that due to the challenges of the past few months, Apple will offer employees in many regions an additional paid holiday scheduled for January 4. Other companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, have also given staff an additional paid day off recently.
Apple’s employee donation program is having its strongest year, the CEO also noted. Since the initiative began, more than $ 591 million has been donated to charities and employees have volunteered more than 1.6 million hours. The company is making a $ 5 million donation to organizations that help those affected by Covid-19, Cook said.
Several other Apple executives spoke during the town hall meeting, including heads of retail, legal, environment, marketing, services, hardware engineering, software development, operations and machine learning.
Dan Riccio, senior vice president of hardware engineering, called remote work a “huge challenge” for device design that is typically done in laboratory settings. He said travel restrictions in March were particularly harsh because that is when engineers often travel to China to help kick off manufacturing of products that will launch in the fall.
Apple solved this, with engineers controlling robots from home and using iPads with augmented reality software to guide technicians in factories abroad, Riccio said. Staff also worked different hours to better communicate with staff already stationed in China. “The best is yet to come,” added Riccio. The company is focused on developing augmented reality and virtual reality hardware products to debut in the coming years, Bloomberg News 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 Chief Operating Officer Sabih Khan praised his team’s ability to produce products this year with minimal delays.
Eddy Cue discussed the performance of Apple’s services this year, Lisa Jackson discussed Apple’s climate commitment, Deirdre O’Brien spoke about retail efforts amid Covid-19, while John Giannandrea discussed artificial intelligence efforts, including share that Apple anticipated the launch of its Apple. Check out this year’s handwashing feature.
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