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Some tech workers are slowly trickling back to the office now

June 11, 2020

By: Jon Swartz

It’s back to the office for some tech employees this month.

Apple Inc. US:AAPL and Juniper Networks Inc. US:JNPR , for example, are allowing small pools of employees to return in what is expected to be a series of gradual phases, though companies are reluctant to talk. (Apple is reopening more stores, though the company temporarily closed some around the country in the wake of widespread protests and looting.) Google parent Alphabet Inc. US:GOOGL US:GOOG , meanwhile, is giving pockets of workers the option of using the office, beginning July 6, CEO Sundar Pichai said in a note to employees last week.

Select engineers and other workers began trickling back to Apple Park in Cupertino, Calif., in May, with the option of a nasal-swab test for COVID-19; requirements to wear masks and take temperature checks; limited weekly schedules onsite; and closed kitchens, according to a report by Bloomberg on Friday.

Juniper is taking a measured approach. “As of June 1, we have moved to the next phase of occupancy in our offices in California and Massachusetts (and many other locations around the world) by allowing up to 20% of workers to voluntarily return for short-term tasks or those tasks that cannot be carried out effectively from home,” Brad Minnis, vice president of environmental health & safety at Juniper, said in a statement to MarketWatch. “We have implemented significant safety arrangements to prevent exposure to COVID-19 in our offices and are practicing strict physical distancing in compliance with local regulations, CDC, OSHA and our own guidelines.”

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