There is trouble again at Apple on account of telecommuting. Last summer, employees and managers of the Cupertino giant staged a major disagreement due to the days that the former were allowed to work remotely and the lack of flexibility shown by the latter. A conflict that was appeased with the arrival of a wave of coronavirus that kept professionals away from the office for health reasons.
However, with the improvement of the pandemic and the decrease in cases, Apple has taken up the issue again without the slightest intention of giving in to the position it maintained throughout last summer, which has caused its employees to express again, through an open letter, his discomfort with the company and his concern about the poor image that managers are giving customers.
What the company offers. Apple wants its employees to try a hybrid work model with two days remote and three in the office, which must be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The workers think that it is a plan that is not very flexible, because it does not allow them to configure their working hours according to their own needs, and insufficient, since they believe that it is possible to telework much more without affecting productivity.
“[La empresa] has justified the decision to try this hybrid model by the need for us to communicate in person and to take advantage of flexible work. But the reality is that she does not recognize flexible work and is only driven by fear. Fear of the future of work, fear of employee autonomy, fear of losing control,” the letter states.
They sell telecommuting, apply office. To justify that what moves managers is the fear of not being able to control them, and not the need to work in person to develop better ideas, employees have pointed out the inconsistencies they find in the company’s plan.
The most important, they explain, is that the company insists on selling the benefits of its products for teleworking, but they do not allow their own employees to benefit from that work model. “How can we expect our customers to take us seriously? How can we understand what remote work problems need to be solved in our products if we don’t live them?
all in the same place. The letter also highlights that Apple managers allege that being all in the same place encourages creativity and the best development of ideas, but the reality, they emphasize, is that those from Cupertino have many offices around the world that collaborate with each other to distance for certain projects, so the statement does not hold.
In addition, they explain that in practice Apple managers have shown that they do not want their employees to communicate with each other, since they try to keep professionals from different divisions separated, both physically and digitally. Thus, for example, they state that they are not allowed to talk to colleagues from other teams through Slack channels.
You don’t have to be creative every day. They also consider that, although it is true that meeting colleagues in person encourages creativity, the work of the vast majority of them does not involve thinking of innovative ideas every day, or even every week or every month, so they do not it is necessary for them to see each other physically three days a week for that reason.
And they defend that to develop creative ideas, in addition to meetings in person, it is also very important to reflect deeply, something that is not easy in offices and that is better achieved in quieter and more relaxed spaces.
More diversity. On the other hand, they believe that offering more telecommuting options would benefit the diversity of the company, since it would allow it to hire people who cannot or do not want to travel from their places of residence, and would make Apple more inclusive, by offering People with children or with dependent relatives greater options for conciliation.
the claims. “We are not asking that everyone be forced to work from home. We are asking to decide for ourselves, together with our teams and direct management, what type of arrangement works best for each of us, whether it is in an office, work from home or a hybrid approach. Stop treating us like school children who have to be told when and where to be and what homework to do”, they point out.
And they add: “The future is about connecting when it makes sense, with people who make relevant contributions, no matter where they are. Stop trying to control how often you can see us in the office. Trust us, we know how our small contributions help Apple succeed and what it takes to make it happen. Our line managers trust us and, in many cases, would be happy to let us work with a more flexible setup. And why shouldn’t they? We have done this successfully for the last two years.”
Image | Robin Ooode
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism