A few days ago, Tim Cook announced Apple’s plans to return to the office starting in September, but some employees feel the company isn’t flexible enough for those who want to work remotely on a more regular basis.
Tim Cook explained that employees will return to the office three days a week starting from the beginning of September and they will be able to work remotely for up to two weeks per year, in addition to the weekly program.
The Verge found an internal letter in which some Apple employees claim they have not been heard by the management regarding the remote work. Indeed, some would have resigned due to the lack of a flexible work policy within the company:
We would like to take this opportunity to communicate a growing concern among our colleagues. Apple’s policy on flexible remote / office work and communication on this aspect has already forced some of our colleagues to resign. Without the inclusiveness that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between the right mix of family, well-being and work, or being part of Apple.
Over the past year we have often felt not only unheard, but at times totally ignored. Messages like “we know that many of you are eager to reconnect in person with colleagues in the office“, With no message acknowledging that there are directly contradictory feelings between us is something contemptuous. Not only do many of us already feel well connected with our colleagues around the world, but now more than ever we also feel connected. We look forward to working more flexibly, without the daily need to return to the office. There seems to be a disconnect between how the management team thinks about remote / flexible working and the lived experiences of many Apple employees.
The letter is addressed directly to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. The Verge says an internal Slack channel has also been created with 2,800 members supporting this initiative.
These are the specific requests sent to Tim Cook:
- We formally ask that Apple consider remote and flexible working decisions free and autonomous
- We formally request a short company-wide survey with a clearly structured and transparent communication / feedback process at company, organization and team level, covering the topics listed below.
- We formally ask for a transparent and clear action plan to address disabilities through the flexibility of working onsite, offsite, remote, hybrid or otherwise based on each employee’s location.
- We formally request information on the environmental impact of returning to work in person in the office and how flexibility could offset that impact.
Whether Cook and other Apple executives will accommodate these requests remains to be seen.