Apple employees threaten to quit as company takes hard line stance on remote work

Posted:
in General Discussion edited July 16
Apple employees claim the company is not budging on plans to institute a hybrid work model for corporate workers and is in some cases denying work-from-home exceptions, including one accommodation covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Apple Park


Citing an internal Slack thread, The Verge reports Apple employees are threatening to quit due to what they perceive as overly strict rules regarding remote work policies.

In June, Apple announced a hybrid work schedule that will see employees return to the office for three days a week starting in September, a shift toward normal corporate operations after the pandemic forced a lengthy work-from-home period. Days later, participants of what is assumed to be the same remote work advocacy Slack channel cited by The Verge asked more flexibility, saying that working from home brings a number of benefits including greater diversity and inclusion in retention and hiring, tearing down previously existing communication barriers, better work life balance, better integration of existing remote / location-flexible workers, and reduced spread of pathogens.

That request was flatly denied. In a video to employees late last month, SVP of retail and people Deirdre O'Brien toed the company line on remote work policies, saying, "We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future. If we take a moment to reflect on our unbelievable product launches this past year, the products and the launch execution were built upon the base of years of work that we did when we were all together in-person."

Apple's corporate ideology has long held that employee commingling is a vital ingredient to innovation. Late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs was such a proponent of the philosophy that he helped design Apple Park's main building -- effectively a large ring -- to facilitate serendipitous encounters.

With plans to enact the hybrid model moving forward, employees now claim Apple is denying exceptions to the in-office rule that it once allowed. For example, one unnamed employee who is currently allowed to work at home through an ADA accommodation said that Apple will deny the exception in September.

"I will be out of a job in September," the person wrote in the Slack channel that now has some 6,000 members.

Apple will apparently make exceptions for people with documented medical conditions, but acquiring that accommodation reportedly requires employees to confirm their status by releasing medical records to the company. The demand made some people uncomfortable, the report said.

Employees are now discussing how best to respond, whether it be through another letter or legal action. About 10 people plan to resign or know others who will resign due to the hybrid policy, the report said.

Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast -- and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, "Hey, Siri," to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.If you want an ad-free main AppleInsider Podcast experience, you can support the AppleInsider podcast by subscribing for $5 per month through Apple's Podcasts app, or via Patreon if you prefer any other podcast player.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 139
    red oakred oak Posts: 873member
    So, they want an exemption to work full time from home due to medical reasons... but don't want to offer any proof?   Did I get that right?  

    This will be a great opportunity to cull some of the deadweight that has attached itself to the ship over the last five years

    "...or legal action."   LOL.   Go ahead!  



    michael potterDnykjpRfC6fnBsJWSCJFC_PAmarc gFidonet127thtdj2k3000randominternetpersongeorgie01
  • Reply 2 of 139
    fred1fred1 Posts: 804member
    red oak said:
    So, they want an exemption to work full time from home due to medical reasons... but don't want to offer any proof?   Did I get that right?  

    This will be a great opportunity to cull some of the deadweight that has attached itself to the ship over the last five years

    "...or legal action."   LOL.   Go ahead!  


    I agree completely. 

    red oakmichael pottergenovelledj2k3000patchythepirateBeatshodar
  • Reply 3 of 139
    I’m assuming pre-pandemic, these were employees that were hired to work in the office five days a week. Now they are going to get to work two days a week remotely, and they’re going to quit over that?
    edited July 15 rinosaurred oakJWSCdj2k3000pscooter63pulseimagesgeorgie01GeorgeBMacBeatswhittonm
  • Reply 4 of 139
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,073member
    Remember initially how it was "two weeks to flatten the curve" and that was that?
    Would these people be raising the same stink if it had actually been only two weeks?

    Anyone familiar with Apple's secrecy should already know they want to keep things in tightly-secured physical offices, and not discussed on Zoom.
    michael potterJWSCbaconstanggenovellemwhitedj2k3000sconosciutopatchythepiratespock1234williamh
  • Reply 5 of 139
    If you weren’t hired on a flex or remote role then tough luck… I have been through tech roles - hybrid 2-3 day, in person, and now a permanent remote role. I know expectations when I take a role, and going forward I only want to work on a flex basis at most. That’ll all be part of my hiring negotiation. 

    If you have a medical exemption then you gotta offer proof. 
    dj2k3000whittonmspock1234
  • Reply 6 of 139
    Good gosh what a bunch of whiners. I drive a transit bus for a living. Did I get to take time off? No. Did I.threaten to quit? Of course not. Why would I. I still have a family to support. If you can’t hand the fire get out of the kitchen. Go ahead and quit! Apple will have you replaced before you can clear your desk out. 
    JWSCred oakFidonet127thtdj2k3000applguygeorgie01GeorgeBMacpatchythepiratewhittonm
  • Reply 7 of 139
    ...make Apple great again...?
    (and I don't mean simply profitable)
    ....can some do their best 'flow' work in the dark mode hours of the night...?

    Is one key motivation, including meaningful work vs simply profitability and annual corporate calendar macOS cycle 'production'...?

    for consideration: www.npr.org/2021/07/06/1013348626/iceland-finds-major-success-moving-to-shorter-work-week

    Is this something an operations focussed leadership can understand...?
    edited July 15 tyler82nadriel
  • Reply 8 of 139
    fumifumi Posts: 21member
    Lots of woke Snowflakes at Apple and all these tech companies. They need to see what other people have to endure to make a living.
    lkruppJWSCwilliamlondonred oakglennhdj2k3000JapheyJanNLmike1davgreg
  • Reply 9 of 139
    mobirdmobird Posts: 576member
    In my neck of the woods-
    Don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you...
    JWSCglennhgenovellemwhitemichelb76entropysmike1GeorgeBMacOctoMonkeypatchythepirate
  • Reply 10 of 139
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,270member
    This is all caused a by a small number of malcontents and picked up by tech blogs to stir the pot.

    Headline:

    "Apple employees threaten to quit”


    Last sentence in the article:

    "About 10 people plan to resign or know others who will resign due to the hybrid policy, the report said. 

    See what I mean. Squeaky wheels getting all the attention. And I’ll bet these employees are low level types, of little importance to the operation of the company, and easily replaced by those who want to work. 

    dewmeJWSCmazda 3sred oakdj2k3000pscooter63applguyrandominternetpersonmichelb76JanNL
  • Reply 11 of 139
    fumi said:
    Lots of woke Snowflakes at Apple and all these tech companies. They need to see what other people have to endure to make a living.
    The entitled of today don't seem to be able to look beyond their own little selves, and for that I pity them. 

    I suppose this is what you get when a generation or two have been deprived of exposure to world history, not to mention the concept of gratitude.
    JWSCGabyFidonet127dj2k3000JanNLgeorgie01red oakcoolfactorpatchythepiratespock1234
  • Reply 12 of 139
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 557member
    Ten entire people resigning! Apple Park has a 12,000 person capacity. 
    mazda 3sdj2k3000sconosciutocoolfactorspock1234
  • Reply 13 of 139
    I guess these workers don't really comprise the core of the corps of Apple...
  • Reply 14 of 139
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 934member
    MicDorsey said:
    fumi said:
    Lots of woke Snowflakes at Apple and all these tech companies. They need to see what other people have to endure to make a living.
    The entitled of today don't seem to be able to look beyond their own little selves, and for that I pity them. 

    I suppose this is what you get when a generation or two have been deprived of exposure to world history, not to mention the concept of gratitude.
    To a large degree I think you are right on.  With apologies to the many history teachers out there who try their best, world history as it is taught in American public schools has been an abomination and an afterthought for decades.  We are now reaping the fruits of the woeful ignorance of the younger generation in the work force.  Spoiled from childhood, they have no concept of the struggles of previous generations and what they had to do to put food on the table.

    Most of our history lessons, however, are learned through life experience.  And these young individuals at Apple are about to experience, as they say, a “teachable moment.“  Good luck to them.
    baconstangFidonet127spock1234Gaby
  • Reply 15 of 139
    glennhglennh Posts: 43member
    Wow! From reading the article, I never knew that ADA gives you a right to work from home? From experience, I have seen and implemented a lot of ADA accommodations including some peculiar ones. However, I have never seen one that ENTITLES you to work from home at your own discretion not that of your employer. 

    It looks like Apple will have a few job openings that will quickly be filled by those who are willing to work at Apple’s plush work locations. I for one do like my own cooking but the Chefs at Cafe Mac do a far better and more enticing job of keeping my belly full and my palate happy! 
    patchythepiratespock1234
  • Reply 16 of 139
    KTRKTR Posts: 114member
    Apple employees claim the company is not budging on plans to institute a hybrid work model for corporate workers and is in some cases denying work-from-home exceptions, including one accommodation covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

    Apple Park


    Citing an internal Slack thread, The Verge reports Apple employees are threatening to quit due to what they perceive as overly strict rules regarding remote work policies.

    In June, Apple announced a hybrid work schedule that will see employees return to the office for three days a week starting in September. Days later, participants of what is assumed to be the same remote work advocacy Slack channel cited by The Verge asked more flexibility, saying that working from home brings a number of benefits including greater diversity and inclusion in retention and hiring, tearing down previously existing communication barriers, better work life balance, better integration of existing remote / location-flexible workers, and reduced spread of pathogens.

    That request was flatly denied. In a video to employees late last month, SVP of retail and people Deirdre O'Brien toed the company line on remote work policies, saying, "We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future. If we take a moment to reflect on our unbelievable product launches this past year, the products and the launch execution were built upon the base of years of work that we did when we were all together in-person."

    With plans to enact the hybrid model moving forward, employees now claim Apple is denying exceptions to the in-office rule that it once allowed. For example, one unnamed employee who is currently allowed to work at home through an ADA accommodation said that Apple will deny the exception in September.

    "I will be out of a job in September," the person wrote in the Slack channel that now has some 6,000 members.

    Apple will apparently make exceptions for people with documented medical conditions, but acquiring that accommodation reportedly requires employees to confirm their status by releasing medical records to the company. The demand made some people uncomfortable, the report said.

    Employees are now discussing how best to respond, whether it be through another letter or legal action. About 10 people plan to resign or know others who will resign due to the hybrid policy, the report said.

    Keep up with everything Apple in the weekly AppleInsider Podcast -- and get a fast news update from AppleInsider Daily. Just say, "Hey, Siri," to your HomePod mini and ask for these podcasts, and our latest HomeKit Insider episode too.If you want an ad-free main AppleInsider Podcast experience, you can support the AppleInsider podcast by subscribing for $5 per month through Apple's Podcasts app, or via Patreon if you prefer any other podcast player.

    Read on AppleInsider
    These people should be thankful they still have a job.  I can see it from apples point of view, they need to maintain secrecy.  If they don’t want to come back to the office, then f’ em.
    whittonmspock1234
  • Reply 17 of 139
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,390member
    fumi said:
    Lots of woke Snowflakes at Apple and all these tech companies. They need to see what other people have to endure to make a living.
    FFS, stop throwing around the word “woke” when it has absolutely no contextual relevance (or meaning) to the subject matter.
    blastdoorbageljoeypscooter63dewmelordjohnwhorfintyler82bwillliusbeowulfschmidtmarc gemig647
  • Reply 18 of 139
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,832member
    Working remote creates a gigantic communication barrier like there never was before. Case closed.
    JWSCmike1patchythepirateBeatshodar
  • Reply 19 of 139
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,390member
    The anti-worker hostility shown here is callous, presumptuous, and generally appalling. None of you have any idea what any of these employees’ lives are like.

    The reason Apple wants to force every worker into being on site for a certain percentage of time probably has a lot more to do with making sure their insanely expensive building/campus isn’t sitting empty, because that would be embarrassing for a company that cares a lot about their image.

    It’s been noted that people don’t like working there. Open floor plans and glass walls/doors suck for actual humans and productivity. The main building is like the Powermac G4 cube and the trashcan Mac Pro: all form; poorly-considered function.

    Then there’s the basic fact that the 40-hour workweek and officespace culture is just plain unhealthy.

    Instead of being bitter about what you see as “entitled” employees who should get shit on just the same as you do, maybe think about trying to raise the bar for EVERYONE (which includes yourselves). Stop licking the corporate boot and acting like you’re living vicariously through the boot wearers.
    muthuk_vanalingamuraharaJanNLdewmetyler82bwillliusbeowulfschmidtemig647elijahgsconosciuto
  • Reply 20 of 139
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,390member
    Also: the claim of the corporate culture being one of interaction and accidental connections is pretty disingenuous when it’s been repeatedly brought to light that Apple’s internal efficacy suffers from obsessive security and silo-ing of projects and teams.
    muthuk_vanalingamtyler82elijahgdarkvader
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