Entrepreneurs

Why Apple Employees Are Objecting to the Company’s Remote Work Rules

Apple employees aren’t ready for a return to normalcy.

In a letter delivered to company management on Monday, July 19, employees requested the option to continue working from home full-time after the tech giant welcomes workers back to the office this fall, Recode reports. Apple had previously told its employees they’ll be able to work from home only twice a week.

The letter requests that Apple allow employees to work from home full-time for at least another year, pending the approval of their managers. It outlines potential arrangements for local employees who want to continue working remotely as well as for employees who have moved away from the company’s Cupertino, California headquarters.

Apple CEO Time Cook told employees in a June email that they should expect to come to the office in September. The company’s leadership has traditionally preferred that employees work in the company’s offices, given the collaborative and secretive nature of its hardware development. Prior to the pandemic, the company did not allow its employees to work from home at all.

“Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate,” Cook wrote in the June email.

A group of 1,700 staffers sent a memo protesting the decision two days later. Apple vowed to hear employees’ concerns, but two weeks later announced it wouldn’t be changing the policy.

In Monday’s memo, Apple employees expressed disappointment that their concerns hadn’t been heard, writing that it was too early for some to come back to the office given the current state of the pandemic. They said that an informal survey of fellow employees found that 68 percent somewhat or strongly agreed the company’s new work-from-home rules would cause them to leave Apple.

Later on Monday, Apple pushed back the target date for its return to the office from September to October, citing a rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, according to Bloomberg.

Business owners across the country are grappling with similar decisions regarding their work from home policies. One recent survey found that nearly half of all workers would rather quit their jobs than lose their remote work flexibility. 

Silicon Valley giants like Twitter and Google have given employees the option to work from home indefinitely. For its part, Google spoke with more than 5,000 employees in designing its new remote work policy.

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