Apple employees with kids feel overworked despite internal support efforts

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Apple in April promised to develop flexible work solutions for employees with children who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, but a report on Thursday notes some parents are still feeling the pinch.

A number of Apple employees who recently spoke with CNET say they feel overtaxed as they adhere to work-from-home orders from the company.

More troubling are parents who say their jobs don't leave much wiggle room for childcare. Schools across the nation are closed due to the coronavirus crisis, leaving parents scrambling to find care for youngsters not old enough to take advantage of remote learning programs.

Apple attempted to avoid this very situation, as evidenced by a memo SVP of Retail and People Deirdre O'Brien sent out to employees in early April. At the time, O'Brien said the company was developing flexible work options that ensure parents "have the support and the flexibility to adjust their schedules as needed." The note also encouraged employees to express any potential conflicts with management.

Today's report notes Apple has increased communication between managers and employees since the outbreak began. Workers are urged to ask for additional accommodations, while managers have been told to proactively help those in need. That includes consolations for parents and caregivers who require time off to care for elderly family members.

It appears those measures are, at least for some, not enough. Still, the company is forging ahead toward a viable solution.

"No deadline is too important, and no priority is more urgent, than caring for our loved ones. Our goal is to be flexible, collaborative and accommodating of every parent and caregiver on our teams," Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet told CNET. "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."

Apple's work-from-home initiative calls on corporate employees, including those based out of Apple Park and other facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area, to work remotely in a bid to halt the spread of the virus. Retail workers like Geniuses are also working remote, while retail employees who show signs of COVID-19 are being granted unlimited sick leave.