Apple employees expressed disagreement with the company’s plan to implement a hybrid working environment. This new policy would require them to work in the physical office three days a week starting September. However, according to a letter obtained by The Verge, this is not flexible enough.
Hybrid Work Set-Up
Earlier this week, Apple CEO Time Cook, announced this decision after more than a year of employees working from home. A memo reported by 9to5Mac from TheVerge indicates the details of this plan. This hybrid approach will take effect September until at least next year, 2022.
The employees are required to come to the office every Monday, Tuesdays, Thursdays. They may opt to work remotely on Wednesdays, and Fridays. This hybrid work set-up will be considered a “pilot” testing and will be reevaluated in 2022. TheVerge also reiterates that this is quite a better view of Apple towards remote work compared to as before. However, it is still requiring more people to work in their office compared to other tech giants like Google, and Facebook.
“For now, let me simply say that I look forward to seeing your faces,” he said in closing. “I know I’m not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we’ve all built.”Tim Cook, Apple
Apple Employees Reaction To The Plan
This announcement resulted in a push back from Apple employees as they express their concern and sentiments in an internal letter addressed to Tim Cook. They included that this communication and action from the company forced others to quit. They feel like they are being forced to choose between their families, their well-being, the opportunity to do their best work, or being part of the company.
Employees also indicated that the company thinks “we know many of you are eager to reconnect in person with your colleagues back in the office” without even asking them if that is the actual scenario. They clarified that they feel connected way better now in a remote set up than before. And there is no need for them to return to the office if that is what the company is trying to accomplish.
Lastly, it seems like there is a disconnect between the executive team and the actual feelings of Apple employees towards the work set-up.
Over the last year we often felt not just unheard, but at times actively ignored. We’ve come to look forward to working as we are now, without the daily need to return to the office. It feels like there is a disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote / location-flexible work and the lived experiences of many of Apple’s employees.Apple Employees
Apple Employees Requests
It was also indicated that employees provide specific requests in their letter. According to the letter, requests include:
- Apple considers remote and location-flexible work decisions to be as autonomous for a team to decide as are hiring decisions.
- A company-wide recurring short survey with a clearly structured and transparent communication / feedback process at the company-wide level, organization-wide level, and team-wide level, covering topics listed below.
- A question about employee churn due to remote work be added to exit interviews.
- A transparent, clear plan of action to accommodate disabilities via onsite, offsite, remote, hybrid, or otherwise location-flexible work.
- Insight into the environmental impact of returning to onsite in-person work, and how permanent remote-and-location-flexibility could offset that impact.
Any response from the executive team or Tim Cook himself are still to be expected. Everyone is still unsure whether there will be changes in the original plan or they will stick to it. This may affect services available to Apple users.