Apple Employees Continue to Fight Return to Campuses and Push for Better Remote Working Options

Apple has made it clear that most of its employees will not be able to work remotely on a permanent basis, but that isn't stopping some corporate staff from continuing to push for more relaxed remote working rules, reports Recode.

apple park drone june 2018 2
In a new petition that went out this week, employees are asking Apple to allow employees to work from home on a more permanent basis. Apple has agreed to a hybrid work schedule that will require employees to come into the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with the option of working remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Some employees are not happy with this arrangement because it requires that they continue to live in the areas near Apple's campuses, which are expensive. Housing prices in Cupertino where Apple's two main campuses are located start at over $1 million.

In June, employees sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking for a more flexible approach, which prompted a reply from Apple's VP of people, Deirdre O'Brien. She said that in-person collaboration is "essential" to Apple's culture and future.

The second letter going around this week suggests two "pilot arrangements" that would give employees an opportunity to work remotely for at least one year. Under the proposal, employees would be able to work remotely five days a week with the approval of their manager or department head, and in some cases, with a cost-of-living compensation adjustment. The letter also complains that it is too early to return to the office, with the full text available below.

Dear Tim, Deirdre, and Team,

Thank you for all the work you and the team do to keep Apple's culture so rich, vibrant, and inclusive! We especially appreciate the People's team's efforts over the last few weeks to understand our personal situations. However, it has been disappointing to see these personal stories not acknowledged individually or by any change in policy. We continue to be concerned that this one-size-fits-all solution is causing many of our colleagues to question their future at Apple. Around 68% of the respondents to our informal survey somewhat or strongly agreed that the lack of location flexibility would likely cause them to leave Apple; that's over 1100 members of our Apple family, and we care about every single one of them.

With COVID-19 numbers rising again around the world, vaccines proving less effective against the Delta variant, and the long-term effects of infection not well understood, it is too early to force those with concerns to come back to the office. Furthermore, allowing some greater flexibility than the current 3/2 schedule would enable us to truly validate whether some people working remotely, not just everyone occasionally working from home, is compatible with Apple's culture of collaboration.

We propose the following adaptations to the Flexible Work Arrangement (FWA) and Temporary Remote Work Arrangement (TRWA) programs to make them part of the Hybrid Working Pilot. These new arrangements would be limited to one year with no promise to be extended.

Local WFH Temporary Pilot Agreement:

This proposal is intended to accommodate employees who work better from home--or who do not feel comfortable in the office while the pandemic is still not under control--by allowing them to continue working from home unless the particular needs of their role require them to be in the office.

  • Required: Approval of direct manager.
  • Default work location is home, but the employee will still have an assigned desk in the office.
  • WFH location must be within commutable distance to the employer's assigned office.
  • A fixed WFH/in-office schedule may be part of this arrangement at the manager's discretion.

Remote WFH Temporary Pilot Agreement

This proposal is intended to accommodate employees whose living situations are not compatible, or have become incompatible, with commuting to an Apple office

  • Required: Approval of department head.
  • Default work location is current permanent home address; employee will not have an assigned desk in the office.
  • Employee's compensation may be adjusted based on location, the same as for permanent remote employees.

We believe that these two proposals are essential to making the Hybrid Working Pilot successful. Together, they ensure the Pilot encompasses the full range of office and non-office working arrangements, allow us to retain many of our colleagues, who have expressed the desire for location-flexibility in their current roles, and enable individuals and teams to respond more quickly to the changing regional conditions of COVID-19 without relying on previous company-wide guidance. We hope you agree that the risks of these adapted policies are minimal while their potential benefits are enormous and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Apple employees maintain a Slack channel with more than 6,000 members where they have been discussing Apple's remote work policies and where the two petitions have been drafted from. Last week, employees complained to The Verge that Apple has been cracking down on remote work policies and approving fewer remote work requests following the hybrid model announcement.

Approximately 10 people from the Slack channel have claimed they are planning to quit if forced to return from the office, and it's likely that number is larger as not all employees participate in the channel.

Many tech companies in the Bay Area where Apple is located have gone fully remote or are offering more expansive work from home options for their employees. Google and Facebook, for example, are letting some employees work remotely on a permanent basis.

In Santa Clara County where Apple's Apple Park and Infinite Loop campuses are located, there is once again a mask recommendation, which is not yet a mandate. Employees are correct that Delta variant cases are ramping up in California, which does have the potential to impact Apple's September return plans.

Top Rated Comments

Marzzz Avatar
16 months ago
What will eventually happen: Employees who come to work physically will have more opportunities for advancement, those who stay home will be left behind. It will be subtle, but noticeable.
Score: 75 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RedRage Avatar
16 months ago
Um, didn't they know the housing market there before they got jobs there? What were they doing before Covid? lol
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
16 months ago
They can always just leave. Life has to return, people.
Score: 47 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Toratek Avatar
16 months ago
These people got used to working in their underwear. That’s not a part of their original hiring agreements and Apple isn’t obligated to continue indulging their acquired behaviors. Let them find work elsewhere.
Score: 42 Votes (Like | Disagree)
swester Avatar
16 months ago

Once again, how about no? Stop the bitching and wining. You were already told no. Bitchting and wining until you get your way is not a good look for a grown ass adult.
If people want to speak up for their own needs, let them. Where's the harm in that? "Bitching and whining" might be your old-school way of belittling by associating them with perceived "negative" behavior by women and children, but it really only reveals your own insecurity and discomfort with change...

In a strong economy, skilled workers have more leverage and ought to use it. And yes, if they are unhappy with the response, they can and will leave for other opportunities. That's what intelligent, talented and capable people do all the time.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dantracht Avatar
16 months ago
I wish I had their problems.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

apple park drone june 2018 2

Google Employees to Return to Offices on April 4, Will Apple Follow?

Wednesday March 2, 2022 1:19 pm PST by
Google today told employees that they will need to return to their physical offices starting on Monday, April 4, reports CNBC. This will apply to employees located in the Bay Area, which is where Google has a Mountain View-based main campus, along with employees in other locations around the United States. Santa Clara County,t where Google and Apple are located, has been lifting...
apple store palo alto

Apple Developing Hybrid 'Retail Flex' Work From Home Program for Apple Store Employees

Thursday July 1, 2021 12:46 pm PDT by
Apple is developing a hybrid work model for its retail employees that would sometimes allow them to work from home, reports Bloomberg. It may sound unusual for a retail employee to work from home, but in this case, it means that workers would be able to take on at-home support shifts in addition to their in-store shifts. A "Retail Flex" pilot program is set to debut, which will see...
apple store employees los angeles tower

Some Apple Store Employees in U.S. Reportedly Working to Unionize

Friday February 18, 2022 6:06 am PST by
The Washington Post today reports that employees at some Apple retail stores in the U.S. are quietly working to unionize. The report claims that groups of employees working for at least two stores are preparing to file paperwork with the National Labor Relations Board in the near future, and at least a half dozen more locations are said to be in earlier stages of the unionization process....
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Sets April 11 Deadline for U.S. Employees to Return to Office

Friday March 4, 2022 7:41 am PST by
Apple has set an April 11 deadline for corporate employees in the U.S. to return to offices like Apple Park, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple is planning for a hybrid in-office and at-home work schedule going forward. The report states that Apple employees will be required to work from the office at least one day per week by April 11, at least two days per week by May 2, and at...
apple store palo alto

Apple to Require COVID Testing for Employees Starting Next Month, Still No Vaccine Mandate

Friday September 17, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Starting next month, Apple is ramping up COVID-19 testing requirements for employees. According to The Verge's Zoe Schiffer, unvaccinated employees will be required to get frequent COVID-19 tests, while vaccinated employees will receive infrequent tests if going into an office or store. Unlike other tech companies, such as Google and Facebook, Apple has not mandated vaccines for its...
appleparkempty

Apple Staff Complain About Plans for Return to Office Work in Letter to Tim Cook

Saturday June 5, 2021 1:11 am PDT by
A large group of Apple employees are opposing the company's plans to require three days of in-person work a week from September, according to a internal letter seen by The Verge. In the detailed letter sent yesterday afternoon, addressed to CEO Tim Cook and the company's executive leadership, the Apple employees said that they want a more flexible approach where those who want to work...
apple park 416 security

Apple Asks All U.S. Employees to Share Vaccination Status, Still No Mandate

Wednesday September 1, 2021 10:23 am PDT by
Apple this week began asking all of its employees in the United States to provide details on their vaccination status, reports Bloomberg. Employees have been asked to voluntarily share whether they have been vaccinated by mid-September, and this applies to both employees working in an office and those working remotely. In a memo, Apple said that its focus is keeping "team members, their...
apple employees trio

Apple Outlines $30M Bag Check Lawsuit Settlement on Legal Website

Wednesday January 12, 2022 3:28 pm PST by
Apple in November settled a long-running lawsuit over employee bag checks, with the Cupertino company agreeing to pay $29.9 million to employees who were subjected to off-the-clock bag searches, and now details about the settlement are available on Apple's website. California employees first sued Apple in 2013, and in 2015, the case escalated into a class action lawsuit. Employees claimed...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...