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Apple employees push back against returning to the office in internal letter : apple


Apple’s work culture strongly values being in the office, and was never high on remote work. Steve designed office buildings (at Pixar, too) specifically to encourage interactions with coworkers in common spaces who you might not otherwise run into, because he believed that those casual/accidental conversations can be great creative moments. The new campus was built because people were getting way too spread out across leased office spaces in Cupertino and spilling out into adjacent zip codes as a result of Apple’s rapid growth. It’s an absolutely enormous office building by volume and was built round and not tall to make sure that people bump into each other by being forced to travel through the middle. That’s who Apple are.

What people may not get here is that allowing employees to work remotely twice a week is already a concession, probably made because the writing is on the wall regarding remote work, and Apple still needs to attract and retain top talent at the end of the day. But it would probably rather not offer any days remote at all. Many Apple employees can probably recall periods of being at the office 7 days a week, coworkers there right alongside them.

I’m usually very pro-employee at Apple, but it’s possible that these particular employees are not / are no longer a cultural match and just raised their hands for HR to see. If being together is part of Apple’s DNA, the company deserves a workforce willing to give that. It’s a special company and messing with its fundamental culture in big ways is a terrible risk. If employees value a remote work lifestyle over Apple’s culture, the latter should win and those people should find employment that’s a better fit for how they want to work.

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