A number of Apple employees have communicated to Tim Cook, their company’s CEO, that they are upset at his demands that they return to the office this fall for at least three days a week – Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays – with little flexibility being expected.
They did so in a letter that was sent on Friday, two days after Cook’s email. In it, they said that the upcoming work policy, which is to be enacted in September, was just part of their concerns. Another was how they as a group felt “unheard” and even “actively ignored.”
The employees added that they feel, in many cases, even more connected with their co-workers now than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic started. Benefits that remote work brings to their personal lives were mentioned as well.
Amongst the requests that they made to him were the flexibility to engage in remote work being the norm and the receipt of a specific plan of action related to accommodating disabled individuals as the company moves forward.
A request to ask departing employees about remote work in their exit interviews was included as well. This was likely related to, according to the letter, the company’s work policy and communication surrounding it causing several employees to quit.
Also included in Apple’s proposal that preceded this was the ability to work remotely for up to two weeks consecutively in a year as long as an employee’s manager approves it. This indicates to some that working remotely has been judged by Apple management to be more of a reward than as a necessity.
This management view contrasts significantly with companies such as Facebook and Twitter, both of which have communicated to their employees that they may continue to work from home for the foreseeable future, regardless of the status or ending of the pandemic.
Of course, one of the ways that this pandemic has changed how people work is the causing of remote work to become much more popular and mainstream than it had been before. Flexibility to work when is best for the employee as well as where is best for them is just one of the stated benefits of this.