Google to gradually return to work as Apple reportedly plans to re-open more stores

'Googlers' will get $1,000 to make work from home life more accommodating.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has told his staff to prepare for a "gradual, phased approach" in returning to business as usual in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, revealing plans to re-open the company's offices.

"We'll be approaching the return to office with a gradual, phased approach, taking both team and individual needs and preferences into account: We are taking slow, deliberate steps to begin re-opening offices in areas where they still remain largely closed," Pichai said in an email sent to staff on Monday.

The phased approach will start from July 6, with a suggested plan that would see staff return for one day "every couple of weeks".

"This will give Googlers who need to come back to the office -- or, capacity permitting, who want to come back -- the opportunity to return on a limited, rotating basis (think: one day every couple of weeks, so roughly 10% building occupancy)," the CEO explained.

He said the search engine giant would have "rigorous" health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitisation guidelines are followed.

"Our goal is to be fair in the way we allocate time in the office, while limiting the number of people who come in, consistent with safety protocols," he said.

By September, Google hopes to "further scale" the rotation program, which would see its offices at 30% capacity.

Pichai said there are a limited number of "Googlers" whose roles are needed back in office this calendar year, but for everyone else, returning to the office would be voluntary for the remainder of the year.

Staff will also be extended a $1,000 allowance -- or the equivalent value in their country -- to expense necessary equipment and office furniture.

Over at Apple, the iPhone maker is reportedly planning on re-opening 100 stores across the US.

CNBC is reporting about 130 out of 271 Apple Stores will be open by the end of the week.

Apple operates 510 stores around the world, and while those that are currently opened have concentrated on service and support, some stores that are re-opening this week are expected to allow walk-ins.

On March 13, Apple announced that it was closing its 460 retail stores outside of Greater China as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan was that stores would remain closed until at least March 27.

Apple's 50 stores in Greater China are open, along with stores in other parts of Asia, across Australia, and Europe which are gradually reopening.