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Tech

Microsoft is Reportedly Planning a Six-Phase Re-opening of Its Offices in US on January 19, 2021

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

Image for Representation
(Photo: Associated Press)

With Covid-19 Crisis hardly showing any sign of slowing down, many tech giants like Google and Apple have extended their work from option until next year.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: August 1, 2020, 10:56 AM IST

Microsoft has reportedly chosen January 19, 2021, as the date for reopening its US offices. According to The Verge, the tech giant is planning a “hybrid workplace” for a six-phase reopening of its offices. “Stage six will be when offices are ready to fully reopen for employees to return to work,” the report said on Friday. The six stages are: Closed; Mandatory working from home; Working from home strongly encouraged; Soft opening; Open with restrictions and finally, Open. “In the US, we have established that the earliest possible date for Stage 6 is now January 19, 2021,” read an internal memo from Kurt DelBene, Microsoft’s head of corporate strategy.

“Our goal for Stage 6 is to return to normal operations while being prepared to back off to an earlier stage if a significant resurgence in the virus occurs,” the memo added. Google is planning to keep its employees working remotely until July 2021 while Apple employees will not return to offices until early next year. With the COVID-19 pandemic hardly showing any sign of slowing down, Google said it would allow employees to work from home till the middle of next year if their roles permit.”To give employees the ability to plan ahead, we are extending our global voluntary work from home option through June 30, 2021, for roles that don’t need to be in the office,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in an email to employees, according to a CNBC report.

In May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a detailed remote-working plan to make half of his 50,000-strong workforce work from home by 2030. According to him, about half of Facebook employees would work from home five to 10 years from now. While Amazon and Apple expect their employees to return to their respective offices in January, most other tech companies have also allowed work from home till the end of the year.


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Categories
Tech

Apple Details Safety Plan For Store Reopening: Local Data Monitoring, Daily Deep Cleaning & More

Image: Apple

Image: Apple

Apple says they will look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials.

  • Last Updated: May 18, 2020, 9:17 AM IST

Apple has detailed its plans to safely reopen its retail stores worldwide, depending on the COVID-19 situation region by region. The company says it will carefully analyze data including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials, before taking a decision to reopen stores. This comes at a time when certain countries are easing lockdown restrictions depending on the curve of COVID cases in that area. Apple insists they will be cautious and not rush into a decision. The company now has more than 100 stores open worldwide.

“As of today, nearly 100 of our stores globally have been able to open their doors to our customers again,” says Deidre O’Brien, senior vice-president of Retail at Apple, in a letter posted on the company’s website. “We look at every available piece of data — including local cases, near and long‑term trends, and guidance from national and local health officials. These are not decisions we rush into — and a store opening in no way means that we won’t take the preventative step of closing it again should local conditions warrant,” she adds.

Consumers can find a store near them by using the Find a Store tool on the Apple website.

Apple says that for reopened stores, focus will be on limiting occupancy at any given point of time. “Giving everybody lots of room,” as they say. There will also be renewed focus on one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store.

“Face coverings will be required for all of our teams and customers, and we will provide them to customers who don’t bring their own. Temperature checks will be conducted at the door and posted health questions will screen for those with symptoms — like cough or fever — or who have had recent exposure to someone infected with COVID‑19,” says O’Brien. Every Apple store will also focus on enhanced deep cleanings that place special emphasis on all surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas, throughout every day.

Apple also says that in countries and regions where they have an online store, anyone ordering online will have the option of getting their order delivered home or can pick it up from one of the nearby assigned stores.

Apple has also played an active role in supporting the health workers as well as medical infrastructure dealing with COVID cases in the US and around the world. This includes the more than 30 million masks and 10 million custom‑built face shields for doctors and nurses and the partnership with manufacturers in the United States to deploy more than a million testing kits per week. Apple and Google are also working towards releasing a health tracking and contact tracing software for iPhones and Android phones, which will put user privacy as a primary requirement.




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