In June, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent an internal ‘return to office‘ letter which detailed the company’s new hybrid work model of coming physically to the office three times a week and working remotely for two days a week, starting in September 2021. In the letter, Mr.Cook expressed gratitude for employees’ hard work during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and welcomed them back to offices. He said that “there’s no replacement for face-to-face collaboration, but we have also learned a great deal about how we can get our work done outside of the office without sacrificing productivity or results.”
And now the company is staying firm on that decision despite facing pushback by employees. In a video message, viewed by The Verge, Apple’s senior VP of retail and people reiterated Mr.Cook’s policy and said that remote working is not as productive as in-personal collaboration.
Apple senior executive calls in-person collaboration “essential” for company’s culture
Over 2500 employees wrote back to Mr.Cook that they are not willing to return to offices because they are more productive working remotely. All the innovative products and services launched in 2020 were quoted in the letter as proof of remote work advantages. Therefore, complaining that “over the last year we often felt not just unheard, but at times actively ignored” and signatories demanded that Apple should adopt a more flexible remote work policy after the pandemic is over.
Acknowledging the presented reasons, Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail and people told the Apple employees that the achievements of 2020 were the result of past years’ collaborative work.
“We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future. 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.”
Although Apple’s remote work policy is very conservative in comparison to Google and Facebook’s, the new hybrid work model is a step forward for the company. Previously, employees were strictly forbidden to take any work home, and now it is open to working remotely at least 2 days a week. What is your opinion on remote working? Let us know in the comments sections.