Employees want Apple management to ‘think differently’ about office work

August 26, 2022

Apple has ordered its employees back to the office, and many aren’t happy about it.

A group of employees circulates an internal petition arguing that the flexible work-from-home policy that has been in place for a few years results in “exceptional work”, according to Gizmodo (reporting news that originally appeared in FinancialTimes). The petition arose in response to CEO Tim Cook’s recent announcement that Apple employees must report to the office in person at least three days a week, starting September 5. The petitioners argue that such a general demand ignores those who work more effectively from home full-time or with flexible hours.

An unprecedented number of people in the United States are working from home due to social distancing requirements imposed at the start of the pandemic. Some companies’ plans for full or partial returns to the office, including Apple’s, were put on hold in the summer of 2021 when the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus caused a new wave of infection and led to some measures being reinstated. of social distancing.

But with the pandemic again at an all-time low, the question of who, when, and how often employees will be expected in the office looms.

A poll conducted by Advanced Workplace Associates in February found that only 3% of white-collar workers wanted to return to work in the office full-time, Fortune reports. Eighty-six percent said they want to work from home at least two days a week, which would seem to fit the guidelines Apple is trying to impose.

Still, in the months leading up to the announcement of the current strategy, Cook admitted he didn’t have all the answers on how best to handle the transition.

In June, Mr Cook called the back-to-office initiative ‘the mother of all experiences’, according to Apple Insider. He expressed a preference for working in the office due to the “serendipity” he says occurs in workplace meetings, although he said Zoom meetings are not inferior to meetings. in person, just different.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will companies with full-time remote or hybrid work schedules have an advantage in recruiting and retaining white-collar workers over those with desk-only policies? How should Apple respond to employee feedback on revoking full-time work-from-home privileges and more flexible hours?


“While face-to-face collaboration drives some workers, others thrive with privacy, space and little disruption.”


Jose C. Birney