Apple workers launch petition against return-to-work mandate

midian182

Posts: 8,328   +103
Staff member
In context: The return-to-work mandate is proving to be the tech industry's hot-button topic, with many employees resisting calls to come back into the office after more than two years of working from home. Apple is one of the industry giants experiencing this outrage as staff petition against plans to return to the workplace next month.

Apple CEO Tim Cook last week sent out a memo to all employees informing them that they must return to the office for at least three days a week starting September 5. Workers were told to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a third day to vary depending on each team—a previous plan involved employees coming in on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Cook said in the memo that he wants to preserve the "in-person collaboration that is so essential to our culture."

Apple has long had a reputation for being a super-progressive company, but its views on working in the office are more traditional and a stark contrast to other Silicon Valley firms such as Facebook and Google, who, following the arrival of Covid lockdowns, mandated that employees could work from home permanently if they choose.

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A group of Apple employees called Apple Together, formed last year, started circulating an internal petition on Sunday demanding "location flexible work." According to The Financial Times, the petition states, "We believe that Apple should encourage, not prohibit, flexible work to build a more diverse and successful company where we can feel comfortable to 'think different' together."

The petition also claims that the mandate fails to acknowledge the many compelling reasons why employees are "happier and more productive" working from home. The group is demanding Apple allows staff to decide their working arrangements with their managers.

Numerous surveys have shown that most people don't want to return to the office, full-time or otherwise, and some people are ready to quit their jobs over these demands or take pay cuts and lose benefits if it means staying at home. Most people consider themselves more productive when working remotely, too, though they don't always think so highly of their colleagues.

While Cook is in the minority of CEOs longing for the pre-Covid era of being in the office all day, one boss who seems to really hate remote work is Elon Musk. In June, the world's richest person told Tesla and SpaceX staff to spend 40 hours per week in the office or find other jobs, although some Tesla employees did find there weren't enough desks or parking spaces when they returned.

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terzaerian

Posts: 1,517   +2,259
Both WFH and in-person have advantages and trade-offs. Personally what I find most important is an element of fairness in the execution - currently a significant cohort where I work is still basically half out of the office doing WFH while my section is in-office most of the time.
 

psycros

Posts: 4,462   +6,653
If the writer thinks that managers who want workers back in the office are a minority, he's not very well-informed. The overwhelming majority of corporate big wheels are threatening to cut pay, benefits and outright can a lot of rebellious, pajama-clad employees who've grown to love being free of having someone looking over their shoulder. What these work-from-homers fail to realize is that without those in-person interactions with managers the bosses will rely even more on metrics and soulless algorithms to determine the worth of employees. That's how you wake up one day to learn that The Machine has decided you're no longer valuable to the company. Live by the sword..
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 3,777   +6,609
Oh, noes! Three days a week of in-office work!

I have no fuxtagiv for these people.
I've been in person this whole time, because I do not have the privlidge of my work being remote capable.

These adults can manage.
If the writer thinks that managers who want workers back in the office are a minority, he's not very well-informed. The overwhelming majority of corporate big wheels are threatening to cut pay, benefits and outright can a lot of rebellious, pajama-clad employees who've grown to love being free of having someone looking over their shoulder. What these work-from-homers fail to realize is that without those in-person interactions with managers the bosses will rely even more on metrics and soulless algorithms to determine the worth of employees. That's how you wake up one day to learn that The Machine has decided you're no longer valuable to the company. Live by the sword..
Employees need to realize something: when you work remote, your competition is no longer those in your zip code, or state, or even country. Its the entire PLANET. And much of the planet works for less a month then cali residents make in a year or two. And they dont complain either....
 

waclark

Posts: 707   +451
I've been in person this whole time, because I do not have the privlidge of my work being remote capable.

These adults can manage.
Employees need to realize something: when you work remote, your competition is no longer those in your zip code, or state, or even country. Its the entire PLANET. And much of the planet works for less a month then cali residents make in a year or two. And they dont complain either....

I work from home and have for close to 10 years now. Before Covid, I did get out a few days a week to visit my customers. Now, my customers are all over the world so it's a little hard to get a face to face with them.

I understand that some jobs don't require in-office work, but as someone who does work at home, I do miss the more personal interaction of being in the office. When I was just starting my career, I learned a lot from my co-workers and I would never get that today working from home. In some jobs I needed access to test equipment that I simply could not have at home so there was no question of needing to come to the office.

As to you last paragraph, that is an excellent point. Oh, anyone can work from anywhere. OK, guess what? Those people in India will work for half your pay so I guess we can just use them instead.
 

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,663   +1,129
Staff member
Bean counters in most large companies are very good at determining productivity. Trust me. If the ratio of overhead for running office work to the productivity of work at homes were in the company's favor, they would not be calling them back to the office.

The fact is that the bean counters have seen that productivity plummeted while they were forced to allow workers to telecommute during covid. The offset of not running the offices is not compensating for employees taking a nap whenever they want and only doing the minimum required to stay employed.

EDIT: A side thought on the whole dynamic. See when you work in an office, and your boss says, "Mmm, yeah. If you can finish these TPS reports, that would be great," you can either get the TPS reports done or be like Peter Gibbons and screw around all day and likely get fired. Finishing them, then taking a nap at your desk, then turning them in at the end of the day is not an option since you are supervised. So when you finish the TPS reports, and turn them in as expected, then your boss hands you another stack of work to do.

Working from home flips that on its head. Since there is very little supervision aside from checking in a couple of times a day, employees finish their assignments, then screw off the rest of the day and turn it in before they clock out. Employers are well aware this is going on. Nobody is fooling their boss, and if they are, they sure as heck aren't fooling the guys in accounting.
 
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kiwigraeme

Posts: 1,312   +961
I wonder how many people - have offloaded their work off-shore .
There's been lots of cases - the most worrying thing is security.
When I ran my small business and kept being contacted by people off shore to update my sad website - before covid and the last 5 years of young people not knowing how to transact offline ( simple free phone call )- I told them , and advertisers I was just dandy with my sales .- Why would you get a cheaper website and let someone you never meet handle your security ??
Was glad to get out in end - as didn't want to waste 1 hour a day on social media - paying automatic system was fine - but heavier fixed cost for small guys .
I never ever checked reviews - folks would come and tell me the funnier ones .
I knew some came from crazy neighbour giving bad reviews about too many guest cars - she used to send me emails complaining guests were destroying my lawns and gardens by playing ball games etc ( like I cared ) .
I gave all my other neighbours my mobile so they could call be 1am if they were drunk and loud outside ( young backpackers ) - never gave it to her - as if the 50 emails she sent me - she never used her name - even though I could of done a simple property search to get hers .
Ha she never called the police on the french backpackers smoking weed all the time - probably as less noisy and more likely to play Bob Marley than drum and bass drunks seem to like
 

Xallisto

Posts: 161   +179
Apple is as much an ******* to its own people as it is to its customers and developers.

Well, I must say that I'm absolutely shocked. /s
 

GoldenGoat

Posts: 101   +145
People his age seem to prefer in-office and younger people seem to prefer work from home. Seems like a generational thing. He's not a young hip CEO even if he plays one well on TV. I think he's going to retire soon and then workers might get what they want.
 

p51d007

Posts: 3,375   +3,047
Well, Apple wants them back in the office for a few reasons.
1. Middle management doesn't have anything to do.
2. Easier to see them actually doing something.
3. (and the most important) Apple spent a TON OF MONEY on building that
round building, and don't want to see it sitting empty. ;)
 

Rocky4040

Posts: 140   +172
The excuse they use is they are more productive working from home all I can say is okay dokay...your fired next please we have a bunch of open spots for workers.

Of coarse they are more happy working from home. They don't have to get up as early they don't have to drive to work and back and as long as they at least get some crap done for work they get a pay cheque. Who wouldn't like this. Well in the real world you got to be a grown up and leave your home for 8-10 hours a day and WORK from where your boss tells you to work using the happy excuse or covid excuse does not float any more. WOW people are...never mind no one cares anyway.
 

BuckarooBonzaii

Posts: 174   +125
These people never think about their future, only what they want now. If they feel okay with a pay cut and loss of benefits then that's fine. But there may be a time when you'll may need those benefits and with inflation your pay cut and reduced benefit won't take you very far.