Megacorp Apple will reportedly allow its blue-T-shirted retail elves to work from home in a similar manner to its office workers.
According to Bloomberg, Apple is to trial a new hybrid WFH plan just for retail staff.
Instead of making them walk the floors, flogging iGadgets directly to aggravated mall-goers, it seems Apple will be asking some retail staff to do sales and support from home instead.
Unnamed sources who spoke to Bloomberg said the "Retail Flex" plan – which is due to run for six months from September – would allow shop workers to split their time between working in-store and from home.
On days when staff have to turn up and clock in, it's business as usual meeting and greeting potential punters and telling them about all the latest goodies on offer.
- Leaked Apple memo tells employees that they'll be coming into the office at least 3 days a week from September
- See what's on the slab: Apple reportedly mulls stretching the iPad Pro to 14 and 16 inches
- Apple warns kit may interfere with implanted medical devices at close proximity
- Apple scrambles to quash iOS app sideloading demands with 'think of the children' defense
For those working from home, they would busy themselves flogging gear online, handling enquiries and dishing out tech support.
While Apple does not disclose ecommerce revenue, Apple's top banana, Tim Cook, said in an earnings call in April that the company was able to maintain growth because of swelling online demand, noting: "Online has been much more beneficial and much more productive than we would have guessed going into this." For its Q2 of fiscal 2021 ended 27 March, it reported revenue up 53 per cent to $89.584bn and profit more than doubling to $23.63bn versus $11.249bn a year earlier.
Earlier this month, Cook told staff that as the pandemic eased staff needed to return to the office.
According to the widely reported memo, employees will be expected to spend at least three days a week in the office from early September, with Wednesdays and Fridays open to remote working for some.
Other flexible arrangements, such as two weeks a year working remotely, were also dangled as incentives.
But this hasn't impressed everyone and earlier this week it emerged that there is a groundswell of opinion among some Apple workers that returning to the office isn't all it's cracked up to be.
A letter signed by employees criticised the plan and called for senior management to reconsider.
"Apple's remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit," wrote disgruntled staff.
"Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple." ®