Apple reassures worried workers that family comes first during COVID-19

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Apple Park
Work at Apple has certainly changed in the past couple of months.
Photo: Matthew Roberts

Apple has told its working-from-home employees that family comes first when it comes to the current coronavirus pandemic. But many employees with kids are still struggling in Silicon Valley’s hectic work culture, claims a new report from CNet.

The article, published Thursday, describes some of the challenges in a tough Silicon Valley working culture, but where — at least in California — schools won’t reopen until fall. Apple is doing whatever it can to help, however.

Author Ian Sherr writes that:

“Employees at Apple and Uber who spoke to me … said they felt overworked without much leeway to take care of kids. And they aren’t alone. More than half of the 6,163 working parents surveyed by Blind earlier this month said they felt their work wasn’t being fairly compared to that of their colleagues during the crisis. As a result, 61% of them, including employees from Google and Facebook, said they’re putting in at least three extra hours each day to complete their work.”

No deadlines are too important, Apple says

The article, perhaps unsurprisingly, doesn’t directly quote any Apple employees. It does, however, note some of the ways Apple is stepping up to the plate to help employees.

It notes that communications with managers and employees has increased since the start of the outbreak. Apple employees are encouraged to ask for help where they need it. Managers have also been asked to be more proactive about offering flexibility. In some cases, this might be reduced schedules. In others, it could be time off to look after family members.

“No deadline is too important, and no priority is more urgent, than caring for our loved ones,” Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told CNet. “Our goal is to be flexible, collaborative and accommodating of every parent and caregiver on our teams. This is a trying time for everyone — especially parents — and we want to do all we can to support every member of our Apple family.”

Everyone is struggling with COVID-19

It’s no big shock to hear that some employees might be struggling, though. Everyone is struggling during the current COVID-19 crisis. That could be with health or economic issues, or simply the massive uncertainty it has introduced. Those with kids are also having to adjust their work schedules to try and teach from home. Apple employees are no different.

But, whether or not Apple puts protective measures in place, there are still deadlines to meet and even people’s self-imposed standards for what they should be able to get done in a day. Hopefully Apple will continue to do what it can.

How are finding the challenging of balancing work and everything else right now? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.