Apple employees face reprisals, possible termination over return to office policy

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Apple reportedly escalates enforcement of its return-to-office policies by tracking badge records to ensure in-person attendance three times a week.

Return to office policy enforcement continues to escalate
Return to office policy enforcement continues to escalate


The COVID-19 pandemic forced most companies to embrace work from home, even Apple. Since risks surrounding the virus have decreased, and vaccines are readily available, the corporate world has been pushing for a return to office -- but not without some resistance.

According to a tweet from Platformer's Zoe Schiffer, which was first reported by 9to5Mac, Apple is tracking in-person employee attendance via badge records. Those who do not come in three times per week are given escalating warnings.

While it isn't a direct policy from Apple, some organizations within the company say failure to comply could result in termination, reports Schiffer.

This news comes only a week after a report about Apple seeking various cost-cutting measures. While the company isn't targeting mass layoffs similar to Facebook, it is leaving positions open after an employee departs.

That means if an employee is terminated due to failure to comply with the return to office mandate, Apple has one less employee to pay. However, since termination due to a failure of compliance isn't an official Apple policy, the company is unlikely to use this as a serious cost-cutting measure.

NEW: Apple is tracking employee attendance (via badge records) and will give employees escalating warnings if they don't come in 3x per week.

ALSO: Elon Musk sent Twitter employees an email at 2:30am saying the "office is not optional" and noting SF was half empty yesterday.

-- Zo Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer)


Employees have been vocal about the return to office policy and Apple's relaxing of COVID-related safety policies. They see these policies as a potential health hazard that lacks understanding of how work from home has improved productivity and morale for some departments.

Read on AppleInsider
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,766member
    It’s not a reprisal if your employer tells you to work at the office and you refuse. 

    That’s grounds for termination. 

    If the job description says remote or temporarily remote, great. Once it shifts back to “on site,” you work on site or lose the job. 

    That’s how things work in the real world. 

    You do t make up your own job description unless you own the company. 
    JFC_PAradarthekatmdwmobirdred oaksdw2001jibiOS_Guy80lkruppbluefire1
  • Reply 2 of 49
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 934member
    Yes work abandonment got a fellow employee fired and that was decades ago. 
    lkruppwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 49
    larryjwlarryjw Posts: 1,031member
    But does a return to the office makes sense from a productivity perspective? For most employees, in the office is nothing more than a proxy for are you working -- and a poor one at that. 
    Ofermuthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2byronliOS_Guy80lkrupptdknoxantv311grandact73
  • Reply 4 of 49
    larryjw said:
    But does a return to the office makes sense from a productivity perspective? For most employees, in the office is nothing more than a proxy for are you working -- and a poor one at that. 
    The ONLY judge of “productivity” is the employer. 
    mdwgenovelledanox9secondkox2sdw2001lkruppbluefire1johnwhite1001watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 49
    So, it's my understanding that the vast majority of offices are less productive, less creative, less collaborative, less spontaneous, less proprietary-knowledge secure, and overall: are stagnating. Our Directors said that public knowledge of declining/ plateauing revenue and increasing remote costs would benefit competitors and demoralize, so most companies will not blatantly call remote work as a failure. Many companies were hoping that employees might work for less due to reduced commute, that they might save money due to re-organizing/reducing office space and leases, and they might realize greater moral from reducing distracting workspaces and inter-office conflicts. Nope. Structure and communal-work presence matter. The stick as well as -or more- than the carrot. Besides, if one's work is so easy that they simply stare at a screen all day without research, delegation, collaboration - basically like a telemarketer, they can be easily outsourced - like say, a telemarketer.
    Jim_MAYradarthekat
  • Reply 6 of 49
    It sounds like a company that likes to micromanage its employees.
    muthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2michelb76lkruppantv311grandact73JamesAstro
  • Reply 7 of 49
    It sounds like a company that likes to micromanage its employees.
    It sounds like a company that pays it's employees to do the job they were hired to do. The employees don't make the rules.
    danoxradarthekat9secondkox2jibiOS_Guy80clexmanlkruppmacxpressdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 49
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,481member
    larryjw said:
    But does a return to the office makes sense from a productivity perspective? For most employees, in the office is nothing more than a proxy for are you working -- and a poor one at that. 
    The truth is work from home will never be as productive as in person unless you live alone and even then there are distractions. If you don’t want to be supervised in person you should start your own business. The other side to it is if people are willing to goof off while at work being monitored, what do you think is happening at home. I can tell you that dealing with companies with people at home has not been a good experience for me. Dogs barking g and children yelling in the background is distracting to me and them. I know when my son is out of school, working from home is a real challenge. 

    I guess it’s easier when you are on salary and get paid no matter how you perform, but when you are paid based on your performance it’s matters. 
    radarthekat9secondkox2byronlmacxpressdewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 49
    It’s not a reprisal if your employer tells you to work at the office and you refuse. 

    That’s grounds for termination. 

    If the job description says remote or temporarily remote, great. Once it shifts back to “on site,” you work on site or lose the job. 

    That’s how things work in the real world. 

    You do t make up your own job description unless you own the company. 

    You shouldn't talk about 'the real world' as if you're accusing Apple employees or others of not knowing what it's like to work in it.  The hours put in, the missed weekends, the missed social time, family time, lost time due to travel back and forth.  The unyielding company towards you, but the company expecting everything from you.  Yeah, that's the real world, and not just at Apple.  But don't even imply that employees are somehow petulant for pushing back against all of that one-sided bullsh*t.
    muthuk_vanalingam9secondkox2michelb76gatorguytdknoxlarryjwgrandact73beowulfschmidt
  • Reply 10 of 49
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,949member
    Apple, so far is the only major tech company that didn’t lay off thousands of people, if Apple says come back to work. I think you probably should.
    byronljibiOS_Guy80clexmanheadfull0winelkrupprandominternetpersondewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 49
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    Apple raking in record profits, so it seems work from home works (from home). 
    byronlmichelb76tdknoxgrandact73
  • Reply 12 of 49
    looplessloopless Posts: 332member
    Funny how all the cry-babies at Apple that got so much press have gone suddenly quiet - maybe they looked down the road at the massive layoffs at pretty much every tech company and were, hmmm, time to buckle down and shut-up. Obviously Apple HR is reading that mood and realized now is the time to crack down and enforce the 3 days a week policy - which is still quite generous. 
    radarthekat9secondkox2byronliOS_Guy80dewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 49
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,766member
    larryjw said:
    But does a return to the office makes sense from a productivity perspective? For most employees, in the office is nothing more than a proxy for are you working -- and a poor one at that. 
    A former workplace did the remote thing during lockdown. Productivity declined. A videographer that worked under me was nearly fired twice in that time as his work suffered noticeably. Had to rescue his job both times.  He admitted to being distracted. A return to the office (and a difficult meeting) was huge in sorting that out. 

    The great thing is that employees don’t have to consider that. That’s for leadership to do. All the employee needs to do is get to the office. Pretty simple stuff. 
    edited March 2023 iOS_Guy80watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 49
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 2,766member
    It’s not a reprisal if your employer tells you to work at the office and you refuse. 

    That’s grounds for termination. 

    If the job description says remote or temporarily remote, great. Once it shifts back to “on site,” you work on site or lose the job. 

    That’s how things work in the real world. 

    You do t make up your own job description unless you own the company. 

    You shouldn't talk about 'the real world' as if you're accusing Apple employees or others of not knowing what it's like to work in it.  The hours put in, the missed weekends, the missed social time, family time, lost time due to travel back and forth.  The unyielding company towards you, but the company expecting everything from you.  Yeah, that's the real world, and not just at Apple.  But don't even imply that employees are somehow petulant for pushing back against all of that one-sided bullsh*t.
    Spare me the disgruntled victim act. ‘Oh poor me. I have to work in the office again instead of Starbucks. The horror.”It’s simple really. If Apple says “get back to the office’ then you get back to the office. If you don’t like it, then apply for a remote job somewhere else. The remote thing was a temporary lockdown measure that already took too long to switch back to the office. Going to work isn’t having everything taken from you by some “unyielding” company. It’s called employment. You have a boss who tells you what to do, you do it, and you get paid. You don’t, and you have problems. That’s how employment works in the real world. Not some imaginary land where the employees boss the employers around. A lot of entitled whining going on. 
    edited March 2023 iOS_Guy80Rogue01watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 49
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 429member
    Every company circumstance is different (even within the various teams). There is ALWAYS a trade-off. My own experience is that virtual meetings are not a patch on face-to-face meetings where one is interacting with one's peers (we have all evolved as humans with reading body language). So if an Apple section (design springs to mind) needs to have the highest quality of collaboration then IMO it is the office. That said, just turning up to an office, per Mad Men from yesteryear, doesn't even begin to achieve the work / life balance that WFH does. Of course one can bet that if HR (human remains) are driving the process of getting staff back to the office, then they will turn it into a train wreck.
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingamheadfull0winedewmewatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 49
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 1,148member
    ... how does commuting fit into the Apple sustainability mantra ...?

    Are tech companies potentially well suited to offer telecommuting...?


    While every company has specific needs there seems much research to suggest benefits:

    “After evaluating over 105 million data points from 30,000 U.S.-based Prodoscore users, we discovered a five percent increase in productivity during the pandemic work from home period,” www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2022/02/04/3-new-studies-end-debate-over-effectiveness-of-hybrid-and-remote-work/

    "companies now find themselves offering remote and hybrid options as a strategy for retaining talent rather than for any performance considerations"
    www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2022/03/18/in-office-vs-remote-vs-hybrid-work-two-years-later-the-impact-on-employee-efficiency

    "Don’t be the next Harvard Business School case study of a managerial disaster."
    hbr.org/2021/08/dont-force-people-to-come-back-to-the-office-full-time

    "Remote work influences the environment, which should be an aspect of any environmentally-focused corporate social responsibility program"
    www.gallup.com/workplace/283985/working-remotely-effective-gallup-research-says-yes.aspx
    edited March 2023 muthuk_vanalingamtdknox
  • Reply 17 of 49
    chutzpahchutzpah Posts: 392member


    If smart people are telling you they work as or more effectively from home, maybe listen to them?
    muthuk_vanalingammichelb76tyler82gatorguytdknoxlarryjwgrandact73
  • Reply 18 of 49
    chutzpah said:


    If smart people are telling you they work as or more effectively from home, maybe listen to them?
    They don't unless you have a VP like Johny that gets it. The rest is still in the past century.
  • Reply 19 of 49
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 18,018member
    It’s not a reprisal if your employer tells you to work at the office and you refuse. 

    That’s grounds for termination. 

    If the job description says remote or temporarily remote, great. Once it shifts back to “on site,” you work on site or lose the job. 

    That’s how things work in the real world. 

    You do t make up your own job description unless you own the company. 

    You shouldn't talk about 'the real world' as if you're accusing Apple employees or others of not knowing what it's like to work in it.  The hours put in, the missed weekends, the missed social time, family time, lost time due to travel back and forth.  The unyielding company towards you, but the company expecting everything from you.  Yeah, that's the real world, and not just at Apple.  But don't even imply that employees are somehow petulant for pushing back against all of that one-sided bullsh*t.
    With all due respect, I don’t think you understand the real world, nor the fact that your perspective comes across as exceptionally entitled. I would not be surprised if you are generation Z, or a young millennial. That’s not an attack, just a note about what I’m getting from your statements. Specifically, unyielding? They’re asking employees to come into the office three days per week. That means they are accommodating request for more remote time at least to some degree.   The problem with these employees is that they do not, in fact, work in the real world. At least compared to almost any company I know about. That’s why their complaints sound so ridiculous to most people. The rest of the world went back to five days a week for white-collar professions well over a year ago. The same applies for so-called mitigations like masking. Apple is being exceptionally accommodating. And if the employees don’t agree, they should leave. 
    iOS_Guy80watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 49
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 631member
    There is nothing to think about, ponder or analyze, including surveys and studies about how working outside the office is more productive when it comes to where you work. Unless you are the boss you work where told. They are being more than generous by not being 5 days a week so be thankful. the other option is to quit. Given all of the tech layoffs plenty of people are ready to replace you and they will not complain about where they have to work. 
    watto_cobra
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