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Apple has made it clear that most of its employees will not be able to work remotely on a permanent basis, but that isn't stopping some corporate staff from continuing to push for more relaxed remote working rules, reports Recode.

apple-park-drone-june-2018-2.jpg

In a new petition that went out this week, employees are asking Apple to allow employees to work from home on a more permanent basis. Apple has agreed to a hybrid work schedule that will require employees to come into the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with the option of working remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Some employees are not happy with this arrangement because it requires that they continue to live in the areas near Apple's campuses, which are expensive. Housing prices in Cupertino where Apple's two main campuses are located start at over $1 million.

In June, employees sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking for a more flexible approach, which prompted a reply from Apple's VP of people, Deirdre O'Brien. She said that in-person collaboration is "essential" to Apple's culture and future.

The second letter going around this week suggests two "pilot arrangements" that would give employees an opportunity to work remotely for at least one year. Under the proposal, employees would be able to work remotely five days a week with the approval of their manager or department head, and in some cases, with a cost-of-living compensation adjustment. The letter also complains that it is too early to return to the office, with the full text available below.
Dear Tim, Deirdre, and Team,

Thank you for all the work you and the team do to keep Apple's culture so rich, vibrant, and inclusive! We especially appreciate the People's team's efforts over the last few weeks to understand our personal situations. However, it has been disappointing to see these personal stories not acknowledged individually or by any change in policy. We continue to be concerned that this one-size-fits-all solution is causing many of our colleagues to question their future at Apple. Around 68% of the respondents to our informal survey somewhat or strongly agreed that the lack of location flexibility would likely cause them to leave Apple; that's over 1100 members of our Apple family, and we care about every single one of them.

With COVID-19 numbers rising again around the world, vaccines proving less effective against the Delta variant, and the long-term effects of infection not well understood, it is too early to force those with concerns to come back to the office. Furthermore, allowing some greater flexibility than the current 3/2 schedule would enable us to truly validate whether some people working remotely, not just everyone occasionally working from home, is compatible with Apple's culture of collaboration.

We propose the following adaptations to the Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) and Temporary Remote Work Arrangement (TRWA) programs to make them part of the Hybrid Working Pilot. These new arrangements would be limited to one year with no promise to be extended.

Local WFH Temporary Pilot Agreement:

This proposal is intended to accommodate employees who work better from home--or who do not feel comfortable in the office while the pandemic is still not under control--by allowing them to continue working from home unless the particular needs of their role require them to be in the office.
  • Required: Approval of direct manager.
  • Default work location is home, but the employee will still have an assigned desk in the office.
  • WFH location must be within commutable distance to the employer's assigned office.
  • A fixed WFH/in-office schedule may be part of this arrangement at the manager's discretion.
Remote WFH Temporary Pilot Agreement

This proposal is intended to accommodate employees whose living situations are not compatible, or have become incompatible, with commuting to an Apple office
  • Required: Approval of department head.
  • Default work location is current permanent home address; employee will not have an assigned desk in the office.
  • Employee's compensation may be adjusted based on location, the same as for permanent remote employees.
We believe that these two proposals are essential to making the Hybrid Working Pilot successful. Together, they ensure the Pilot encompasses the full range of office and non-office working arrangements, allow us to retain many of our colleagues, who have expressed the desire for location-flexibility in their current roles, and enable individuals and teams to respond more quickly to the changing regional conditions of COVID-19 without relying on previous company-wide guidance. We hope you agree that the risks of these adapted policies are minimal while their potential benefits are enormous and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
Apple employees maintain a Slack channel with more than 6,000 members where they have been discussing Apple's remote work policies and where the two petitions have been drafted from. Last week, employees complained to The Verge that Apple has been cracking down on remote work policies and approving fewer remote work requests following the hybrid model announcement.

Approximately 10 people from the Slack channel have claimed they are planning to quit if forced to return from the office, and it's likely that number is larger as not all employees participate in the channel.

Many tech companies in the Bay Area where Apple is located have gone fully remote or are offering more expansive work from home options for their employees. Google and Facebook, for example, are letting some employees work remotely on a permanent basis.

In Santa Clara County where Apple's Apple Park and Infinite Loop campuses are located, there is once again a mask recommendation, which is not yet a mandate. Employees are correct that Delta variant cases are ramping up in California, which does have the potential to impact Apple's September return plans.

Article Link: Apple Employees Continue to Fight Return to Campuses and Push for Better Remote Working Options
 
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guerro

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2002
231
297
Parts Unknown
Apple didn't build that spaceship for it to sit empty. Actually, many large companies are facing the same dilemma. They have all these huge campuses and EEs are working from home very successfully. Also, since EEs can/are allowed to work from home, they are taking their Bay Area salary to lower cost of living states elsewhere.
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,767
3,639
California
Um, didn't they know the housing market there before they got jobs there? What were they doing before Covid? lol

There are definitely some that likely joined during the pandemic! But also after you've had a taste of NOT commuting in the Bay Area it can be hard to go back. Dissenters probably don't already have homes in Cupertino + surrounding areas.
 

RedRage

macrumors regular
Jan 18, 2021
130
259
There are definitely some that likely joined during the pandemic! But also after you've had a taste of NOT commuting in the Bay Area it can be hard to go back. Dissenters probably don't already have homes in Cupertino + surrounding areas.

Yeah, I understand those that joined during the pandemic. But those that were already commuting before the pandemic can't use home prices, ect as an excuse.
 

HopeWV

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2015
199
304
Tbh if Apple allows that, their products will continue to go down hill. Take iOS 15. Very lackluster, probably because of the working home and COVID. I feel like this will just keep happening, less and less quality from them. I am a teacher, I do not have the option of begging to work from home. If my Board of Education says in person, then that’s what I have to do. Why can’t they be the same way? Just my opinion.
 

Wildkraut

Suspended
Nov 8, 2015
1,602
2,074
Germany
lol Apple, really?
I mean they have deadlines, timelines, meetings and constant project goals tracking, git activities, and last but not least the hire and fire philosophy in USA in case HomeOffice goes wrong here and there.

I see no problem with HomeOffice development, iOS15 has been developed during HomeOffice too, but seems like they simply want to fill their glasshouse.
 

themoemoth

macrumors newbie
Jun 5, 2006
5
7
New York City
Yeah, first of all, these people aren't "bitching and whining." The idea of sitting at work everyday is stupidly outdated as anyone who has every worked in an office can attest to. It's way harder for parents, too, who are still managing the reality of hybrid school (I'm one of them.) That said, it's also laughable to expect that Apple managers will permit their directs to work remotely. I can all but guarantee from personal experience that that will not happen. Apple managers rarely if ever break from the pack, and even if there's a pilot program, I have a hard time imagining anyone is gonna stick their neck out. What WILL happen is brain-drain from Apple as the rest of the valley moves forward with flexible work options and Apple doesn't. Short-sighted move.
 

swester

macrumors regular
Jul 26, 2010
215
668
Once again, how about no? Stop the bitching and wining. You were already told no. Bitchting and wining until you get your way is not a good look for a grown ass adult.

If people want to speak up for their own needs, let them. Where's the harm in that? "Bitching and whining" might be your old-school way of belittling by associating them with perceived "negative" behavior by women and children, but it really only reveals your own insecurity and discomfort with change...

In a strong economy, skilled workers have more leverage and ought to use it. And yes, if they are unhappy with the response, they can and will leave for other opportunities. That's what intelligent, talented and capable people do all the time.
 

julesme

macrumors 6502
Oct 14, 2016
331
1,168
San Jose
There are clearly some roles where knowledge workers can be more productive and efficient from home.
That said, when I read about a Fortune 500 CEO (not Apple) describing remote work as an "aberration" that should be corrected / resolved, I think it's largely a reflection on the limits of this particular executive, not of the workers.

In other words, the CEO would rather have workers docked in cubicles where they can be watched, even if this policy actually undermines productivity & wellbeing.
 
Last edited:

Kkspire

macrumors regular
May 19, 2016
125
312
Yeah, first of all, these people aren't "bitching and whining." The idea of sitting at work everyday is stupidly outdated as anyone who has every worked in an office can attest to. It's way harder for parents, too, who are still managing the reality of hybrid school (I'm one of them.) That said, it's also laughable to expect that Apple managers will permit their directs to work remotely. I can all but guarantee from personal experience that that will not happen. Apple managers rarely if ever break from the pack, and even if there's a pilot program, I have a hard time imagining anyone is gonna stick their neck out. What WILL happen is brain-drain from Apple as the rest of the valley moves forward with flexible work options and Apple doesn't. Short-sighted move.
Cry a River. Go to work like everyone else. No, you can’t sit at home and watch your kids. You go to work.
 
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