“Over the past year we have often not only felt unheard, but at times actively ignored”
Apple employees are pushing against a new policy that would require them to return to the office three days a week in early September. Staff members say they want a flexible approach where people working remotely can do so, according to an internal letter obtained ledge.
“We would like to take this opportunity to communicate the growing concern among our partners,” the letter said. “That Apple’s remote/location-flexible work ethic, and the communication around it, has already forced some of our colleagues to leave. Without the flexibility that inclusivity brings, many of us realize that we have to choose between uniting our families, our well being, and being empowered to do our best work, or Being part of Apple. “
The move comes two days after Tim Cook sent a note to Apple employees saying they would be required to return to the office on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Most employees can work remotely twice a week. They may also be remote for two weeks a year, pending the approval of the manager.
This is an easing of restrictions compared to Apple’s previous company culture, which discouraged employees from working from home before the pandemic. Yet it is still more conservative than other tech giants. Twitter and Facebook have both told employees they can work from home forever, even after the pandemic is over.
For some Apple employees, the current policy doesn’t go far enough, and shows a clear divide between how Apple executives and employees view remote work.
“During the past year we have often not only felt unheard, but at times actively ignored,” the letter said. “Messages like, ‘We know many of you are looking forward to reconnecting with your colleagues in the office in person,’ without any messages acknowledging that we have directly conflicting feelings, dismissive and The invalidation feels… there seems to be a disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote/location-flexible work and the life experiences of many of Apple’s employees.”
The letter, addressed to Tim Cook, began in a Slack channel for “Remote Work Advocates,” which has about 2,800 members. About 80 people were involved in writing and editing the notes.
Apple employees say the adoption of remote work is paramount to the company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. “For inclusiveness and diversity to work, we need to recognize how different we are all, and with those differences, come different needs and different approaches,” he says.
Here are the specific questions mentioned by employees in the note:
We are formally requesting that Apple consider remote and location-flexible work decisions autonomous to a team to perform tasks such as decision making.
We are formally requesting a company-wide recurring short survey at the company-wide level, organization-wide level and team-wide level with a clearly structured and transparent communication/feedback process covering the topics listed below has gone.
We are formally requesting a question regarding employee churn due to remote work to opt out of the interview.
We are formally requesting a transparent, clear action plan to accommodate disabilities through onsite, offsite, remote, hybrid, or otherwise location-flexible work.
We are formally requesting insight into the environmental impact of returning to onsite in-person work, and how sustainable remote and location-resilience can offset that impact.
The letter was sent to Apple employees to sign on Friday afternoon.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment ledge.
Read the full letter below: