In a message signed by Deirdre O’Brien and delivered today to all Apple employees in China, the woman wearing the two hats of human resources manager and Apple Store boss, suggests that the reopenings may take place more gradually than expected.
Apple China’s offices and support centers are expected to resume activity next week. As for the shops – high-traffic areas – it’s more blurred and could vary from place to place:
The shops are working hard to prepare for their reopening on a date to be determined next week. This decision will depend on health protocols and local guidelines on the sanitation of public spaces.
For the time being, the employees of these shops are still waiting and the resumption of work may not take place, in a homogeneous way, on February 10th. For the moment, the pages of these shops invariably display reopening dates as early as this Monday.
The message sent on February 7 for employees in China.
Team, I want to thank every one of you for the care, flexibility and spirit you have shown over the past few weeks. Around the world, the entire Apple family stands committed to helping our colleagues, communities, suppliers, partners and customers in China as they care for their health and return to daily life. Apple’s support for the global coronavirus response is broad and ongoing, including our donation to the public health effort.
Since my last note, we have been in constant consultation with public health experts, government authorities and our teams and leaders in China. In light of those conversations, I want to share new information about Apple’s workplaces.
We are working toward reopening Apple’s Corporate Offices and Contact Centers in China next week. We recognize that personal movement and travel restrictions are ongoing and schools are closed in many places, and managers will be working with their teams to offer additional support. You will receive a follow up communication shortly with more information.
Apple’s Retail Stores are actively working to reopen at a date that will be determined next week. Additional cleaning, health protocols and local restrictions around public spaces will factor into this decision. Retail teams will receive updates from their managers on the opening date for their store and on other supportive steps we are taking.
Individual business leaders will be reaching out to you soon with more information relevant to your work. In addition to your manager, your People Business Partner and People Support are your resource for any questions you may have. To stay up to date with Apple’s efforts, please continue to check the dedicated coronavirus page we’ve created on the People site.
As we work together to gradually resume work over the next few weeks, your well-being is our first priority. We are deeply grateful to everyone for facing this challenging period with the utmost empathy and understanding.
The message sent (in French) on January 31, announcing the upcoming closure of the Apple Store and other Apple offices in China until February 9:
We keep ourselves closely informed of news from China and other regions most impacted by the coronavirus. Our thoughts are with those who are directly affected by the virus and those who are working tirelessly to treat, study and control what the World Health Organization, the United States and other governments are now calling a public health emergency.
Apple people are a family, and I know everyone wants to know more about our global efforts to support our employees, partners, and customers. The best way to keep up to date with the latest information is to visit the coronavirus page we have created on the People site. We encourage each of you to consult it regularly starting today.
A team of experts is working within Apple to help us overcome this difficult situation. We are in close contact with our employees in Hubei province, to whom we offer our help, and have undertaken a thorough, regular and assiduous cleaning of our stores and offices.
I would like to share with you additional initiatives that we have taken after consultation with health policy experts, and based on the latest government recommendations.
As a precautionary measure, all headquarters offices, the Apple Store and the Mainland China Contact Centers will be closed from February 2 to 9. In addition to the restrictions on business travel to and from China, we now require every employee returning from China, or those who have returned within the last 14 days, to work from home for 14 days from the date of arrival. As previously announced, Apple is making donations to support front-line efforts. If you would like to make a donation of your own, you can do so on the Employee Giving Portal.
We want to be a resource available to all Apple employees around the world. Please contact your People Business Partner, People Support or your manager if you have any questions or concerns about your health or that of your loved ones. Apple delivers the best when we’re united, and this is one of those times when we can show the strength of our global community.