Apple Still Planning Return to In-Person Work in September, Despite Employee Complaints

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Apple is not backing down on its plan to return to three days of in-person work a week starting in September, despite employees complaining about the new change.

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Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook penned an internal letter to employees outlining the company’s plan to return to in-person work three days a week in September. Apple, due to the global health crisis, has largely been working remotely over the past year, but companies are now starting to return to in-person work.

Following Cook’s letter to staff, a group of Apple employees responded to the CEO with a letter of their own, complaining about the change. In their letter, employees said that without the flexibility of choosing between remote and in-person work, they feel they have to choose between “either a combination of our families, our well-being, and being empowered to do our best work, or being a part of Apple.”

Apple has now responded to the complaints. In a video sent to staff, seen by The Verge, Apple’s senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O’Brien, said that in-person work is “essential” to Apple products and company culture, and that it is key for product launches and development.

“We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future,” said Deirdre O’Brien, senior vice president of retail and people, in a video recording viewed by The Verge. “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.”

Apple is, however, going to offer some employees the flexibility of remote work. According to The Verge, employees will be allowed to work remotely, but that approval is “on a case-by-case basis with any new remote positions requiring executive approval.”

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