Apple CEO Tim Cook last month sent a memo where he wrote that most employees will be asked to report to office for three days a week — Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. “For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other,” Cook said in the email. “Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”
Now, Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior VP of retail and people has also reiterated the importance and need of people working together in-person. In an interview with The Verge, O’Brien said that “in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future.” O’Brien further said that the innovation in Apple products and services have been down to in-person collaboration. “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,” the senior Apple executive told The Verge.
Some Apple employees aren’t in favour of coming back to offices and want work from home to continue. The employees wrote to Cook and made a few requests like Apple considers remote and location-flexible work decisions to be as autonomous for a team to decide as are hiring decisions. “Not only do many of us already feel well-connected with our colleagues worldwide, but better-connected now than ever. We’ve come to look forward to working as we are now, without the daily need to return to the office. It feels like there is a disconnect between how the executive team thinks about remote / location-flexible work and the lived experiences of many of Apple’s employees,” the employees wrote in an email to Cook.
Apple has reportedly said that it expects employees to be back in offices by September under the hybrid work model. However, the company will consider each case individually on whether remote work is acceptable or not.