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Some Apple staff feel more confident to speak about their employer amongst themselves, to the press, and on social media due to the company's switch to remote working and increased use of Slack over the past year, The Information reports.

apple-park-416-security.jpg

Apple's Slack became a "virtual town square" at the company, providing a platform for employees to protest the return to in-person work, decisions to hire controversial new employees, and more. Until the transition to remote working last year due to the global health crisis, Apple's culture of secrecy limited the opportunities for grassroots employees to organize independently.

Apple employees are asked to sign multiple agreements vowing to not disclose information about their work, including to spouses and other colleagues at the company. When work was conducted in person before last year's changes, the interaction between different parts of the company was heavily limited, with physical access to other departments being restricted to those authorized to be there. A software engineer in Apple's global security team, Cher Scarlett, said:
Before Slack, it was difficult for employees to talk to somebody who works in retail unless you went to the store. It was impossible to talk to someone who works in hardware as I don't work with anyone there. You're giving people a platform that allows them to connect with people they wouldn't ordinarily connect with.

A former Apple procurement manager told The Information that Apple's internal employee directory was so difficult to navigate that it was virtually impossible to find out, for example, who was in charge of iPad marketing in Latin America.

In the fall of 2019, Apple allowed its various teams to start adopting Slack at their own pace. Until the global health crisis prompted the widespread adoption of Slack, the company preferred to use its own software at work, with some exceptions such as Cisco Jabber. Apple's own iMessage platform is reportedly heavily relied upon for internal communication.

There are now believed to be 3,000 internal Apple Slack channels with more than 10,000 members, which has made it considerably easier for employees to communicate with each other and unite around common goals. Last year, channels for a range of topics, including #announcements, #careers, #help-desk-support, #talk-investments, and #talk-trading, were created by employees. A number of channels also center on different religious communities among Apple employees.

The popular channels #remote-work-advocacy and #talk-benefits center on advocacy and are said to contain more than 7,000 members and led employees' push to continue working remotely earlier this year. The channel #women-in-swe contains more than 2,000 female software engineers and advocated the firing of an allegedly misogynistic new employee last year. One former employee said:
People are fully remote now, so what was previously water-cooler chat has become much more candid because the digital environment feels safer and less personalized.

The move toward being more outspoken about the company has also spilled over to social media, with an Apple engineering program manager posting accusations of sexism, discrimination, and other inappropriate behavior on Twitter, even sharing partially redacted internal Apple emails and Slack messages about her case.

In addition, another employee posted a photo of Apple's medical release form on Twitter that asked employees to release their healthcare information to the company as a proviso for the approval of medical leave and remote work. Other posts accused Apple's human resources department of shutting down surveys about pay transparency.

"Slack and social media have been absolutely the biggest catalyst in giving workers the ability to organize," Scarlett said. She added that she feels comfortable speaking on the record to the media about these issues without Apple's approval since "a nondisparagement clause doesn't mean you can't say anything bad about the company. You can openly talk about discrimination."

Apple employees are now said to have started a Discord server to discuss company issues, which has a waiting list of more than 200 applicants, and 15 employees launched a website around the hashtag #AppleToo to collect testimonials about discrimination or harassment at the company.

Article Link: Apple Employees Increasingly Content to Criticize the Company Amid Switch Remote Working and Use of Slack
 

gagarin04

macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2020
24
23
No one is forced to work at Apple. Don't like it, leave. All these complaints are just so stupid. Thousands of people would like to work at Apple almost for free. Throw them in jail for breaking their NDAs.

What happened to good old fashioned company loyalty? Especially for something as great as Apple.
 
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barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,238
2,213
Manhattan
This is starting to sound like the beginnings of unionization at Apple. Yikes. No wonder they wanted everyone back in the office. It doesn't seem like this can be reversed though.

Still, this isn't Walmart or McDonald's and these people aren't fighting for a few dollars over minimum wage. These are privileged, well paid individuals so the bar is a *lot* higher for them before I start to feel sympathy.
 

cateye

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2011
94
349
No one is forced to work at Apple. Don't like it, leave. All these complaints are just so stupid. Thousands of people would like to work at Apple almost for free.
Not really. Apple competes for the same talent as everyone else.

Try working for any company or organization that has cultural cache, or is especially important or revered among a certain audience. I have. (Not Apple, but a company that at one point had Apple-like extreme fans, sites like MacRumors devoted to it, etc.) You'll find that it's "just a job" on the inside. Absolutely, there are people that seek out working for Apple (or Google, or Microsoft, or any one of the millions of tech companies you've never heard of) in order to flex their talents in a specific area, because that company offers an opportunity they're interested in. But fandom, especially the creepy sort of boy band-style reverence that Apple engenders, is not really how people, especially people who are highly sought after like experienced software engineers, approach a career.

It's all just a job, and Apple is just one company among many.
 

Shasterball

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
951
190
No one is forced to work at Apple. Don't like it, leave. All these complaints are just so stupid. Thousands of people would like to work at Apple almost for free.
Ummm, there are many instances where companies act poorly. The solution is not to have employees leave, it is to have the companies improve. "You can always leave" means less choice for employees.
 

cateye

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2011
94
349
Ummm, there are many instances where companies act poorly. The solution is not to have employees leave, it is to have the companies improve. "You can always leave" means less choice for employees.
This. Working for any company is an unspoken social contract: You provide the workplace, I provide the work. If you don't like my work, you will complain. If I don't like your workplace, I will complain. If either crosses a threshold of tolerability, you may fire me, or I may quit.

Neither side should somehow pretend this agreement doesn't exist.
 

yegon

macrumors 68040
Oct 20, 2007
3,195
1,554
Aww bless, “forced” into going in a few days a week.

Meanwhile, outside the bubbly echo chamber, some of us have worked throughout.

Then again, victimhood/self pity wasn’t on the curriculum when I was at school/college and I just about escaped it at uni, graduating in 2002 🤷
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
13,763
12,870
Apple reaps what they sow: entitlement and out of touch culture.

The chickens have come home (literally with WFH) to roost, and I won't shed a tear. I hope the dumpster fire of disgruntled ness continues to snowball.

Their HQ is a space ship: out of this world, perspective wise, detached from reality. While also grounded.
 
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Peepo

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2009
1,105
541
We have about a dozen channels and around 20 employees on slack at my work. I could just imagine how distracting that much would be at Apple.
 
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cateye

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2011
94
349
Aww bless, “forced” into going in a few days a week.

Meanwhile, outside the bubbly echo chamber, some of us have worked throughout.

Then again, victimhood/self pity wasn’t on the curriculum when I was at school/college and I just about escaped it at uni, graduating in 2002 🤷
Someone is being offered a level of respect as an employee that your employer didn't see fit to offer you. Really, you should be demanding the same respect and choices, not bemoaning others for exercising theirs.

I'm sorry to hear you've been forced to work through the pandemic. That's not right, and you deserve better. Elevate your opportunities, don't tear others' down.
 

Derekuda

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2004
329
1,177
Pathetic to see so many people on these forums in support of a multi-billion dollar corporation over their fellow man who just want a better company culture and better working conditions. You are the same people who hate that apple will start scanning your photos....yet you defend the corporation over fellow human beings with actual lives and who want privacy. Some of you need to really take a look in the mirror and re-define your priorities. You are no different then someone who hates the removal of a feature like a headphone jack, yet then turns around and buys the latest product supporting the companies decision with your hard earned money.
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
13,763
12,870
Pathetic to see so many people on these forums in support of a multi-billion dollar corporation over their fellow man who just want a better company culture and better working conditions. You are the same people who hate that apple will start scanning your photos....yet you defend the corporation over fellow human beings with actual lives and who want privacy. Some of you need to really take a look in the mirror and re-define your priorities. You are no different then someone who hates the removal of a feature like a headphone jack, yet then turns around and buys the latest product supporting the companies decision with your hard earned money.

I have never in my life seen such staunch emotional defenses for the company of mass manufactured products, not even the products themselves people hunkered down a lot of cash for.

People should look themselves in the mirror and wonder what they've become, and how they've gotten there. imo.
 

senttoschool

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2017
854
1,522
Some people want to permanently work from the office. I'm one of them. And it's a huge hassle to sync up with everyone and make sure everyone understands what they're doing when a few members of the team are working from home. It's just a lot of extra work to communicate with them. Once in a while WFH is ok. 2 -3 days of working from home per week is straight up not ok. Your teammates are making an effort to go to the office, why can't you?

And no, you're not getting more work done when you're at home. Even if you are, you're missing out on team innovation, not available to other members who might need your help or input which slows other people down.
 

Shasterball

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2007
951
190
This. Working for any company is an unspoken social contract: You provide the workplace, I provide the work. If you don't like my work, you will complain. If I don't like your workplace, I will complain. If either crosses a threshold of tolerability, you may fire me, or I may quit.

Neither side should somehow pretend this agreement doesn't exist.
This is not how it works. Nor is it how workplace issues are solved internally or by courts. I mean, you can keep saying it is, but it's not.
 

thadoggfather

macrumors G5
Oct 1, 2007
13,763
12,870
Some people want to permanently work from the office. I'm one of them. And it's a huge hassle to sync up with everyone and make sure everyone understands what they're doing when a few members of the team are working from home. It's just a lot of extra work to communicate with them. Once in a while WFH is ok. 2 -3 days of working from home per week is straight up not ok. Your teammates are making an effort to go to the office, why can't you?

As people increasingly get more irritable and irrational in dark times, who could blame you/them for at least wanting to WFH?

Nevermind the health concerns and such: life is short, and we don't want to spend it rotting under a fluorescent lit box if we dont have to -- most of us at least.
 
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