Apple to pilot ‘Retail Flex’ hybrid in-store and work-from-home program for retail workers this year

Apple plans to test a “Retail Flex” hybrid in-store and work-from-home arrangement with a small number of store employees later this year.

Apple to pilot 'Retail Flex' hybrid in-store and work-from-home program for retail workers this year. Image: Deirdre O’Brien is Apple's senior vice president of Retail + People
Deirdre O’Brien is Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People
Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

The arrangement will allow employees to work some weeks at their retail store location and other weeks remotely. From home, workers will handle online sales, customer service and technical support, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing company policies.

Creating such a program is an acknowledgment that the trend of greater online shopping accelerated by Covid-19 may continue despite economic re-openings and vaccine availability in many parts of the world. Workers will move between their store and remote roles depending on demand in stores versus online shopping during a particular period, the people said…

The iPhone maker is asking employees in the pilot program to participate for at least six months… Apple expects to reimburse participating employees for some internet expenses and $100 toward office equipment. They will also retain the same salary regardless of whether they work at home or at the stores. During the height of the pandemic, Apple asked thousands of employees to work remotely, sending them Mac desktops to do their jobs.

MacDailyNews Note: Last month, Apple had reopened all its stores from COVID closures and began to normalize store operations, dropping mask requirement for customers and employees in many parts of America.


  1. Even an illiterate fourth grader who used his phonics to sound out the big words in the MDN summary of the Bloomberg article would certainly have figured out that Apple not only *allows” this, but that it is a program that the company developed and offered to some of their employees as an option.

    If you didn’t understand that, perhaps you have a fourth grader available who can explain it to you.

    Anyplace that I ever worked, participating in a program offered by my employer did not constitute being a “snowflake.” Apparently, your employer does not pay well enough to hire people with the self-discipline to work from home. Apple is more discerning. If it can’t trust employees to do their job without close supervision, it shouldn’t have those untrustworthy employees on the payroll at all. Just because you would be a complete goldbrick without a manager standing over you with a whip does not mean that everybody requires coercion to do the job they are paid for. Working from home can be rewarding for both parties under the right circumstances.

    I continue to be amazed that you think that Uighurs should be free to manage their own working conditions (which they obviously should), but cannot understand that American workers should have the same right to negotiate their compensation and working conditions with their employers. Given the disparity of bargaining power, the employer is going to get 90% of what they want, but that is better than the 100% that you seem to think they are entitled to. Workers who are given a take-it-or-leave-it choice between an employer’s nonnegotiable demands and starvation (which is the result of being unemployed in the world without a social safety net that you would prefer) are not really serving voluntarily. Involuntary servitude has been unlawful in the United States for 156 years now, but our discussions over the First Amendment suggest that you need to have that fourth grader explain the Constitution to you.

    1. I knew you would respond with tedious volumes of ridiculous insults and FALSE ACCUSATIONS and did waste my time reading past the first insult.

      News flash DUMMY, I was making a much broader point of the employment scene present day wreaked havoc by Covid.

      Yes, I know Apple’s snowflake appeasement program, ridiculous…

      1. You have made your position quite clear:

        American workers cannot be trusted to work from home and any company that allows them to do so is engaged in appeasement.

        American workers who request a change in working conditions from their employer should be fired immediately.

        American workers who band together for collective bargaining or simply to give themselves a voice are evil unionists who need to be suppressed.

        American workers who start working for a company should be bound by noncompete clauses to work for that one company for the rest of their career in that industry or any related field.

        You see some meaningful difference between that regime and indentured servitude. I don’t.

  2. In other countries, employers were pretty well obliged to get staff to work from home when possible. In many cases it has worked out so well that companies are downsizing offices and encouraging staff to work from home.

    Few staff enjoy commuting to work when everybody else is doing the same. Apple is doing what any number of other employers are doing and in most cases it’s a thing which staff like too.

    If people are after tech support or sales enquiries, most of it can be done over the phone from anywhere. Much as I like visiting Apple Stores, I’d be quite happy to deal with them online or on the phone whenever possible.

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