Apple Together group invokes Steve Jobs as it protests Return to Work policy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2022
The Apple Together group has published an open letter objecting to Apple's requiring people to return to working in the office, and argues that Steve Jobs would have listened to them.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


Apple Together is the group of Apple employees that began with the #AppleToo movement, and which organized a retail walkout on December 24, 2021. As employees return to their offices following Apple's mandate in April 2022, the group has written an open letter protesting against the move.

"Thoughts on Office-bound Work," is an 1,800-word letter published simultaneously in English, Portugese, Spanish, and German. It concerns the return to work and specifically Apple's plan for Hybrid Working, where staff split their week between their homes and the office.

"The Hybrid Working Pilot is not an increase in flexibility," says the letter, "it is a smokescreen and often a step back in flexibility for many of our teams... [Requiring] everyone to relocate to the office their team happens to be based in, and being in the office at least 3 fixed days of the week, will change the makeup of our workforce."

"[It] will lead to privileges deciding who can work for Apple, not the best fit," it continues. "Privileges like 'being born in the the right place so you don't have to relocate,' or 'being young enough to start a new life in a new city/country' or 'having a stay-at-home spouse who will move with you'."

Consequently, continues the Apple Together group, this will lead to a decrease in diversity. "It will make Apple younger, whiter, more male-dominated, more neuro-normative, more able-bodied...," continues the letter.

"We tell all of our customers how great our products are for remote work, yet, we ourselves, cannot use them to work remotely?" says the letter. "How can we expect our customers to take that seriously? How can we understand what problems of remote work need solving in our products, if we don't live it?"

"Or as Steve [Jobs] said: 'It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.'"

"Here we are," says the letter, "the smart people that you hired, and we are telling you what to do: Please get out of our way, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, let us decide how we work best, and let us do the best work of our lives."

Apple has not responded to the letter. However, following a similar request to continue working from home in July 2022, Apple's senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O'Brien, advocated returning to the office.

"We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future," she said. "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."

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Apparently if you’re part that bunch of people you are too good to go to work. Must be nice to be so incredibly arrogant. Really relieves any need to consider just how fancy a job you’ve got. Feel free to leave. I’m there’s a wonderful startup waiting for your crappy overpaid attitude. 
    lordjohnwhorfinred oakradarthekatBeatsmike1JWSCjony0
  • Reply 2 of 28
    They didn’t build a 5 billion dollar facility to have it empty. 
    radarthekatmike1viclauyycJinTechjony0
  • Reply 3 of 28
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 109member
    "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.”

    Interesting, because in many other corporate interviews, leads have stated that the Pandemic loosened the productivity stranglehold that so often prevented cross-pollination of ideas. Even the head of the entire M1 design team admitted this.

    The Spaceship was designed to stimulate  innovation, but because of its security layers, no one could actually connect. It fostered a Cast System within Apple that nearly derailed productivity and worker morale. Since remote work has been implemented, they’ve seen extraordinary leaps In usability and worker morale.

    Perhaps the Spaceship should be repurposed into the greatest Tech and Innovation Museum ever built.
    iOS_Guy80crowleyronnscstrrfdarkvader
  • Reply 4 of 28
    The arrogance and entitlement are laughable, but their belief Saint Jobs would have been on their side really shows how clueless they are. He would have sacked their sorry asses faster than they can say “Tesla” or “LaCroix”
    red oakMadbumGG1Weetubshankradarthekatmike1BeatsJWSCviclauyyc
  • Reply 5 of 28
    timmilleatimmillea Posts: 140member
    The letter looks like it was written by a committee of delinquents. 

    IBM wrote the book on productivity, actually many books and academic papers. FP Brookes' "The Mythical Man Month" is the most famous. The most famous conclusion of the most famous book is that taking away the coffee machine had by far the biggest hit on productivity. Why? Because workers prosper when they have their own personal, distraction-free spaces but when they get stuck they have a coffee and have a casual conversation with colleagues which can inspire the way out. 

    Apple is right to insist that their workers return to the office. A beautiful, private and peaceful office, I hope, and without any of the distractions of home. Then also to provide multiple opportunities to mingle casually with equally-focussed colleagues. 


    red oakradarthekatmike1JWSCdewme
  • Reply 6 of 28
    looplessloopless Posts: 281member
    Cry me a river…
    red oakbshankmike1jony0
  • Reply 7 of 28
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 418member
    Lol if Jobs was still around, Every person involved in this group would have been fired yesterday 
    Weeturadarthekatmike1BeatsJWSCjony0
  • Reply 8 of 28
    MadbumMadbum Posts: 418member
    I hope the letter was signed by every person involved 
    WeetuBeats
  • Reply 9 of 28
    They didn’t build a 5 billion dollar facility to have it empty. 
    These kinds of structures are primarily a projection of company brand. It's like spending $5 billion on the Rams/Chargers football stadium. You don't really need to spend that much for the functions involved alone. You're looking for that "wow" reaction that gets associated with the company. Not just a building, but an icon. 
    ronndewmescstrrfjovi.tiatiadarkvadergrandact73CluntBaby92
  • Reply 10 of 28
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,564member
    They had to be in the building two years ago, why is it going to be a big problem that would force them to relocate now? If they moved out of Cupertino because of the pandemic, that’s their mistake.
    The letter really looks like they made a list of buzzwords, and crafted a letter that strung them together. Now if they had quoted facts and statistics supporting their argument that would have been much more persuasive. They are arguing with accountants, bean counters, and MBAs. They need facts. 
    Like many complaints like this, it has a grain of truth. Some industries have seen quality and productivity improvements from staff working from home. By focussing on social justice and fairness, they threw away their most powerful argument.
    Saying Steve Jobs would have supported them is just pathetic. People try to say “SJ would have…” here and on other forums about all sorts of things and they get laughed at. It’s a weak argument. 
    edited May 2022 radarthekatBeatsCluntBaby92jony0
  • Reply 11 of 28
    STH72STH72 Posts: 1member
    A trifecta of ageism, sexism, and racism all in one letter, lol.
    CluntBaby92
  • Reply 12 of 28
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,924member
    Who would know what Jobs would say: the guy who worked with him every day for 13 years or random employees that may have met him a handful of times?

    Jobs probably would’ve fired them. 
    radarthekatscstrrfmike1BeatsWeetuJWSCJFC_PACluntBaby92jony0
  • Reply 13 of 28
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,571moderator
    Or as Steve [Jobs] said: 'It doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.'"

    um, yeah, and the smartest person Jobs hired (Cook) is telling them to get back to their desks.
    mike1BeatsJWSCJFC_PAdewmejony0
  • Reply 14 of 28
    They should write their own theme song based on the song by The Turtles.
  • Reply 15 of 28
    Hervorragender Arbeit, Apple Together! Ich glaube an dieses Brief, weil es viele Wahrheiten erleuchtet. Ich verzweifle, daß Steve dezentrale Arbeit oder Flexibilitätwahl unterstützten wurde. Er würde Apple Together gefeuert. Die andere Kommentieren hier enttäuscht mich, wenig oder keine empathie zu teilen. Jemand sagt die Autor:innen wollt zu viel? Aber die Apple Leiter:innen haben Milliarden and verdienen mehr??? Was für ein Fehlersinn. Dieses Brief stimmt, dezentrale Arbeit übrig jeden Team zu wählen, nicht nur Hybrid bürogebundenen. Auch, Sozialrechtsschutz ist ein gutes Grund!
    darkvader
  • Reply 16 of 28
    STH72 said:
    A trifecta of ageism, sexism, and racism all in one letter, lol.
    Herzlich willkommen bei der Vereinigten Staaten! 😂🇺🇸
  • Reply 17 of 28
    oldcastleoldcastle Posts: 23member
    Did they get the idea from the Psychic Hotline? "Do the know the way to San Jose..." 
  • Reply 18 of 28
    Apparently if you’re part that bunch of people you are too good to go to work. Must be nice to be so incredibly arrogant. Really relieves any need to consider just how fancy a job you’ve got. Feel free to leave. I’m there’s a wonderful startup waiting for your crappy overpaid attitude. 
    »Feel free to leave.« Wirklich?
  • Reply 19 of 28
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 959member
    Apple employees need to unionize.

    And having employees who sit at a computer and code all day going into an office, no matter how nice, is idiotic.  These jobs could be done from home decades ago, there's absolutely no reason to force people back into offices ever again, let alone when the pandemic is not over. 


    muthuk_vanalingamronngrandact73jovi.tiatia
  • Reply 20 of 28
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    Why wasn’t it a problem before? These employees got spoiled. 
    Cesar Battistini MazieroJFC_PACluntBaby92
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