In brief: Apple is reportedly implementing a multi-phase plan that’ll have employees return to the office sooner than some of its competitors. The first group to come back will likely work on hardware development, a task that is tricky to do remotely.

Sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that the first phase, which includes staffers that can’t work remotely and those facing challenges working from home, has already begun in some regions and will expand to major offices by the end of this month and into early June. This includes those who report to Apple Park in Cupertino.

During this phase, employees will be asked to either work their normal office hours or for certain periods of time, depending on their duties.

In July, another wave of employees will head back to offices in accordance with local stay-at-home orders.

Apple managers are reportedly starting to inform team members about which phase they are part of this week.

Last week, reports surfaced claiming Apple was planning to reopen some of its retail stores in the US this week in states that aren’t being heavily impacted by the virus like Alaska and Idaho. Stores in other regions like Australia and Germany have already reopened.

Apple’s strategy is in stark contrast to other tech giants. Google, for example, has given most of its employees the green light to work remotely through the remainder of 2020. Twitter, meanwhile, told its staffers that they can work from home indefinitely if their job allows for it.

Masthead credit: Barbara Ash