Work from home has been the one stable, uniform thing in the pandemic, across the world. And now, that’s changing. Apple has directed its employees to start coming in to work starting this September, at least thrice a week. Apple has said it will follow a hybrid model for now and won’t ask its employees to come in to office full time just yet. But this hasn’t gone down well with everyone.
Around 80 Apple employees wrote a letter to the company’s CEO Tim Cook, asking him for a more flexible approach to work. The letter says:
“…we would like to take the opportunity to communicate a growing concern among our colleagues. That Apple’s remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit. Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple. This is a decision none of us take lightly, and a decision many would prefer not to have to make. These concerns are largely what prompted us to advocate for changes to these policies, and data collected will reflect those concerns….We have great respect for Apple and its leadership; we strongly believe in the Innovation and Thinking Differently (from “the way things have always been done” and “industry standards”) that are part of Apple’s DNA. We all wish to continue to “bleed six colors” at Apple itself and not elsewhere. At Apple, our most important resource, our soul, is our people, and we believe that ensuring we are all heard, represented, and validated is how we continue to defend and protect that precious sentiment. This is not a petition, though it may resemble one. This is a plea: let’s work together to truly welcome everyone forward. Looking around the corner, we believe the future of work will be significantly more location and timezone flexible. In fact, we are already a distributed company with offices all over the world and across many different timezones.“
Apple hasn’t yet commented on the letter and there seems to be no change yet over its hybid-work model. The hybrid model was announced in the last week of May in an email by Tim Cook. The e-mail read “For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other. Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”
Apple is known to have a more conservative attitude towards its work policies and prefers its employees work from its campus. The company had released an ad at the beginning of the pandemic where it highlighted the problems that people face while working from home while advertising its products at the same time.
Facebook recently sent out an email saying it is opening up the option of remote work for employees across all levels starting June 15.
Amazon and Google have announced a three day at office work week, similar to Apple. Sunder Pichai, Google and Alphabet’s CEO, recently wrote in a blog post, “We’ll move to a hybrid work week where most Googlers spend approximately three days in the office and two days wherever they work best. Since in-office time will be focused on collaboration, your product areas and functions will help decide which days teams will come together in the office. There will also be roles that may need to be on-site more than three days a week due to the nature of the work”