Apple and Google employees upset about returning to work want WFH to continue

Apple and Google employees upset about returning to work want WFH to continue

Tech Highlights:

  • “While Apple historically discouraged employees from working from home, there were one-off exceptions to the rule, and some teams were more lenient than others. Now, employees say that even those exceptions are being denied. In a company Slack channel where employees advocate for remote work, roughly 10 people said they were resigning due to the hybrid work policy or knew others who’d been forced to quit,” the report said.

  • In a statement issued to the entire company at the beginning of June, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested a new hybrid model and informed employees that, as of early September, they would need to be in the office three days per week. However, some of the staff claim they would quit the company if Apple requires their physical presence in the workplace, so that hasn’t gone over well. When the announcement was made, Apple’s staff members wrote a letter expressing their anger at the new policy, claiming that it had driven several employees to resign. According to a recent article from The Verge, Apple has been turning down employees’ pleas to continue working from home. Employees are debating leaving in a workplace Slack channel with 6,000 members.

The report cited employees saying that the Cupertino-based tech giant has told them that permanent remote work would only be approved for those with documented medical conditions. That requires workers to share their medical records with the company, which “made some people uncomfortable.” In a survey on remote work conducted by Apple employees last month, at least 90 per cent of employees said flexible options are important to them. Now, some are reportedly thinking about writing another letter to Apple, while others are discussing taking the legal route.

And while Google deliberates upon bringing individual employees back to the office, some staff are becoming increasingly frustrated with the uncertainty that looms over their shoulders. Tensions have reportedly broken out over office transfers and the prospect of pay cuts; the overall confusion and uneven enforcement of the policy, especially among lower-level staff, also doesn’t help. All this even after Google software engineers said in a recent survey that they felt as productive working from home as they did before the pandemic.

Google employees, too, aren’t particularly happy with the company’s determination to bring most employees back to the office. In May, CEO Sundar Pichai announced plans for a “hybrid” work environment that would require most employees to work from their offices at least three days a week beginning in September. Under the new structure, 20 per cent of employees would work remotely. Another 20 per cent could work from new locations, but the salary would be adjusted based on the local market.

Workers in many industries have decided to quit their jobs rather than give up virtual work. However, this is unlikely to result in a mass exodus for Google or Apple because of the lavish salaries and other perks that they offer their employees. But all eyes for sure will be on internet giants Apple and Google when their employees transition back to office life.

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