Apple 'Tracking Employee Attendance' in Crackdown on Remote Working

Apple is tracking the attendance of its employees at offices using badge records in order to ensure they are coming in at least three times a week, according to Platformer's Zoë Schiffer.

apple park at night 1
Since April 2022, Apple employees have been operating on a hybrid home/office work policy as part of a gradual return strategy following the pandemic, with staff required to work from the office at least three days per week.

Employees are required to be in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with most able to work remotely on Wednesdays and Fridays. However, it appears that Apple is doubling down on this strategy as it looks for ways across the company to cut costs.

In a post on Twitter, Schiffer said that Apple is now actively tracking in-person attendance using badge records and will give employees "escalating warnings" if they don't come in the required three times per week.

According to Schiffer, some Apple offices have even warned staff that failure to comply could result in job termination, although that "doesn't appear to be a company-wide policy."

The development follows a recent report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in which he outlined several cost-cutting measures being newly enacted by Apple, including managers becoming "as strict as ever" about office attendance, with some staff believing it to be a harbinger of Apple firing employees who don't meet the requirement.

In this regard, Gurman has also reported an overlap in retail stores, with Apple taking a closer look at work attendance and hours, and the company ditching its "special sick time" for time missed due to Covid, asking staff to use their normal sick time instead.

According to the report, Apple isn't always filling positions when employees leave, suggesting the crackdown on staff who do not fulfill the in-person work requirements is at least in part one aspect of its wider strategy to cut costs while avoiding the sort of mass layoffs that have recently befallen other tech giants, including Meta, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.

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Top Rated Comments

neuropsychguy Avatar
15 months ago
That’s fair to do if it is a job requirement to be in the office 3 days a week. I’m not sure what’s controversial about tracking badge swipes.
Score: 73 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ericwn Avatar
15 months ago
Certainly not the only company that checks if employees show up for work. But sure, we’ll see some wonderful triggered comments on wfh from our armchair coaches in a few moments.
Score: 60 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Krizoitz Avatar
15 months ago

Not saying Apple is wrong to do this (after all, their corporate culture relies largely on in-person collaboration), but it's always problematic to force people into something they don't want to do. It creates resistance and resentment that corrode culture from within.

I do wonder if paying a bonus for employees who show up at the office would have had a more desirable effect on overall morale...
I mean very few people WANT to work. We do it because we need to in order to make money. Seems pretty reasonable for a company to require it’s employees to you know show up. This was the norm pre pandemic across industries. Apple isn’t doing anything outside the ordinary here don’t see why it’s news.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nwcs Avatar
15 months ago

Not saying Apple is wrong to do this (after all, their corporate culture relies largely on in-person collaboration), but it's always problematic to force people into something they don't want to do. It creates resistance and resentment that corrode culture from within.

I do wonder if paying a bonus for employees who show up at the office would have had a more desirable effect on overall morale...
That would be a bad precedent. You shouldn't need to bribe employees to do the job they already agreed to do for the compensation they are getting. I agree it's problematic to force people to do something they aren't wanting to do however the fix is simple: find another job which has the terms you're looking for. I suspect there are other out of work people who would jump at the chance to take their place under the existing terms.
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wxnats Avatar
15 months ago

Not saying Apple is wrong to do this (after all, their corporate culture relies largely on in-person collaboration), but it's always problematic to force people into something they don't want to do. It creates resistance and resentment that corrode culture from within.

I do wonder if paying a bonus for employees who show up at the office would have had a more desirable effect on overall morale...
It is not unreasonable for a company to expect people to show up in an office three days a week. If the employee doesn’t want an in person job, they should find one that says 100% virtual in their offer letter.

Employees shouldn’t want all of these tech companies to be 100% virtual. Their jobs would be shipped outside the US.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wanha Avatar
15 months ago

That would be a bad precedent. You shouldn't need to bribe employees to do the job they already agreed to do for the compensation they are getting. I agree it's problematic to force people to do something they aren't wanting to do however the fix is simple: find another job which has the terms you're looking for. I suspect there are other out of work people who would jump at the chance to take their place under the existing terms.
I get the philosophy you state and it's probably how Apple views it too, but times they are a-changin - after COVID, remote work is seen as normal and in some cases, even as a right.

As is often the case, when there is coercion and discontentment, the people with the best job options are likely to leave (usually your best employees).

Those with less options (usually not your best employees) will reluctantly stay.

The net effect is that you replace your best employees with average or good employees, while continuing to fester a growing sense of resentment toward the employer.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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