Apple orders staff to come back to the office

·2 min read
Apple Working From Home Covid-19 Hybrid Working
Apple Working From Home Covid-19 Hybrid Working

Apple has ordered staff back to the office three days a week after a year-long battle with employees over winding down working from home.

The technology giant told employees in the Silicon Valley area they will be expected to come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays and one extra day each week, starting on September 5.

As with many businesses, Apple told staff to work from home at the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, it has struggled to get them to return to the office as the threat has receded.

The company first started trying to launch a so-called “hybrid” work model in June last year, but it has been beset by delays. At the time of the policy’s launch, staff claimed they were being “ignored” and the policy was driving people to quit.

“Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we have to choose between either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being part of Apple,” employees wrote.

Ian Goodfellow, Apple's director of machine learning, left the company in May amid disagreements over its flexible work policy.

Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive, emailed staff this week to tell them about the change.

“Teams participating in the pilot will come to the office three days each week with Tuesday and Thursday as set days across the company, but now the third day you come in will be decided by your teams,” he said.

Mr Cook said the move would “enhance our ability to work flexibly, while preserving the in-person collaboration that is so essential to our culture”.

Technology businesses have taken different approaches to returning to the office. Facebook has given employees more freedom to choose where they work and has promoted the idea of using technology to enable remote working.

Apple's internal culture of secrecy, designed to keep its new products out of the public eye, has been challenged by the pandemic.

Bloomberg first reported Apple's new policy.