Apple’s efforts to bring its employees back into the office are facing continued resistance from an organized group of employees, and there has been at least one notable resignation over the issue.
Verge reporter Zoë Schiffer chirp On Saturday, Ian Goodfellow, Apple’s director of machine learning, will leave the company. He cited the plan to return to the office as the reason for his departure. “I strongly believe that more flexibility would have been the best policy for my team,” he said in a note to co-workers, according to Schaeffer’s tweet.
The current policy sometimes varies by team and role, but in general, Apple has already required employees to visit the office one or two days a week. On May 23, many Apple employees will be required to go to the office at least three days a week.
Some employees are unhappy with the gradual return to the office. They coordinated their efforts into a group dubbed “Apple Together”. group recently Publish an open letter Addressed to the executive leadership of the company.
Apple Together lists several reasons why they believe that Apple’s return to the office does not make sense for the company and its employees. The group attempts to debunk the idea that being in the office together allows for serendipitous moments of collaboration and creativity. The group says the company is already isolated, so collaborating with co-workers is more manageable when working from home (when arranging video calls to offices or other departments is sometimes easier) than in the office.
Apple Together notes the impact of commuting in crowded cities where Apple has offices — such as the Bay Area, Los Angeles, or Austin, Texas — on employees’ personal lives, energy, and availability at work. The group also notes that requiring employees to live in office commuting limits the types of employees who join the company.
The letter concludes by naming what its authors consider “the most important reason” that Apple should allow more flexible working arrangements. She notes that Apple’s marketing messages position products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac as ideal tools for remote work, even when Apple tells the employees who design those products to go back to the office.
The letter notes that Apple’s marketing is a hypocritical tactic, and suggests that the employees working to make these products will better understand customers’ needs if they live the same work lifestyle.
While Apple is gradually bringing employees back into the in-office culture, it is using remote collaboration tools so effectively that it has no other choice.
For example, a Wall Street Journal article On how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing Apple’s operations in China, he explains how Apple is using technologies like live streaming, video calling and augmented reality to enable California-based engineers to collaborate with colleagues in China amid travel restrictions. Previously, many of these interactions required international travel to meet in person.
Meanwhile, many other tech companies have taken more permissive approaches to remote work. Microsoft still encourages some employees to come into the office, but it varies on a case-by-case basis. Others like Dropbox, Twitter, and Lyft have announced that most employees could stay completely away indefinitely if they so choose.
As it stands now, Apple plans to move forward with its updated three-day-a-week policy on May 23.
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