Apple employees respond to Apple CEO Tim Cook's request to return to office work in September. However, they have countered Cook's request with a proposal for more flexible work from home options.
Apple Employees Ask for Work From Home Options
The letter was submitted on June 4, and it was addressed to Cook and the rest of the executives at Apple. According to The Verge, it was penned by 80 employees and appeared in an internal Slack channel for remote work advocates that has around 2,800 members, according to The Verge.
While the workers are grateful for Apple's consideration of a hybrid approach to office work in a near post-COVID-19 era, they stated that the proposed station does not sufficiently address their needs.
With a few exceptions, staff can remote in twice a week and elect to work from home for up to two weeks a year, pending approval from management.
For Apple, the hybrid schedule represents a departure from a long-held, 40-hour workweek. Still, the employees who have worked remotely for more than a year feel as though their concerns and wishes are not being taken into consideration.
The Flexibility of Remote Work
The letter states that Apple's remote work policy and its communication have already forced some of their colleagues to quit.
Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of the employees feel that they have to choose between either a combination of their families, their well-being, and being empowered to do their best work or being a part of Apple.
There also appears to be a perceived rift between the higher-ups of Apple and the workers. The authors of the letter address this disconnect and suggest remote work can yield the same benefits as in-person meetings, according to CNBC.
The employees stated that over the last year, they often felt unheard and ignored. Some messages did not acknowledge their feelings about the working situation, making it dismissive and invalidating.
The employees emphasized that as the world is getting better, they are looking forward to working properly again, without the daily need to return to the physical office. However, the employees also pointed out that there is a disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote work and the workers' lived experiences.
The letter also agrees that even though collaboration drives success, physical co-location is less of a contributing factor because the company is already distributed with offices worldwide.
Organizations are rarely co-located within walking distance, let alone in the same building, meaning their best collaboration has always required remote communication with teams in other offices and across different timezones since long before the pandemic.
Apple employees also stated that remote work brings five key benefits: tearing down previously existing communication barriers; diversity and inclusion in retention and hiring; better work-life balance; reduced spread of pathogens; and better integration of existing remote workers.
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Written by Sophie Webster