Apple’s work-from-home policy will be tightened soon in favor of a hybrid model which will require employees to show up in offices at least three days per week.
- What’s happening? Apple’s hybrid model entails workers coming in Tuesdays and Thursdays, which are its company-wide days for collaboration. Workers will also need to spend an additional day at the office as set by their team leaders.
- Why care? Like many companies, Apple is facing strong resistance from its workforce to return to offices. On the other hand, Apple’s work-from-home policies can’t be as flexible as some of its Silicon Valley peers because the vertical integration it’s famous for heavily depends on in-person work.
- What to do? Watch closely how Apple handles getting its employees back to in-person work. Apple’s example is going to be a nice model for how hybrid work environments could sustain innovation.
The party is over: Apple wants workers back in offices
Starting September 5, 2022, some corporate employees are expected to show up in offices on two specific days, Tuesday and Thursday. A third day in the office will be determined specifically from one department to another.
Apple’s original plan called for in-person work on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. At first, the hybrid model will be applied to the company’s corporate workers who live in the Bay Area. Apple in its generosity will permit employees to work from home twice per week.
Apple just laid off 100 recruiters
Reporting for Bloomberg, Mark Gurman learned Apple’s already laid off about a hundred contract-based recruiters. No full-time employees were let go and some contractor-based recruiters did keep their jobs. The company previously said it would change its business needs and slow hiring in the face of a creeping recession.
“We’re still hiring, but we’re doing it on a deliberate basis,” chief executive Tim Cook said on a call with investors. At the same time, the company has now announced plans to bring employees back to offices at least three days per week in September.
Tim Cook’s memo to employees about a hybrid work model
Cook broke the news in a memo sent to employees, obtained by The Verge:
The early ramp-in phase of our hybrid work pilot has been a great opportunity to come together, reconnect with our teams, and meet new colleagues in person. This has been a transition for many of us as we’ve navigated changing case rates in many parts of the world, so thank you for your teamwork and professionalism as we continue moving forward.
I’m writing to you today with two updates, one about changes we’re making to our hybrid pilot, the other about its timing.
When we announced the pilot a year ago, we said it would be a learning experience for us all. And we committed ourselves to adapting along the way to create a flexible environment that enables our teams to thrive. Based on the feedback and insights we’ve received from you and your managers, we are making the following adjustment:
Teams participating in the pilot will come to the office three days each week with Tuesday and Thursday as set days across the company, but now the third day you come in will be decided by your teams. Each team will work through the decision about which day is right for them, and you’ll hear from your leaders soon. As before, many employees will have the option of working remotely two days a week. Depending on your role, you will also have the option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year.
We are excited to move forward with the pilot and believe that this revised framework will enhance our ability to work flexibly, while preserving the in-person collaboration that is so essential to our culture. We also know that we still have a lot to learn. And we are committed to listening, adapting, and growing together in the weeks and months ahead.
In terms of timing, many locations around the world are in different phases and you will hear more details shortly. For Santa Clara Valley, we plan to begin our new adjusted pilot with all employees in the office three days beginning the week of September 5th.
In the near term, we will continue to navigate the pandemic together as the situation evolves. We are monitoring the data closely and you will continue to receive updates on health and safety protocols for your location as necessary from our COVID-19 Response Team. In the meantime, it’s encouraging that children under five years old are now eligible for vaccination in many countries, and I urge anyone who is able to get a vaccine or a booster to do so if you haven’t already.
As we continue on this journey, I want to say how grateful I am for everything you do. I’ve never been more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, the impact we can have on the lives we touch, and the outstanding team that makes it all possible. I look forward to working with you to create a flexible environment at Apple where, together, we can make an even greater difference in the lives of our users around the world.
The last time Apple said the work-from-home party won’t last forever, there was some commotion among the employees who had a chance to taste the freedom of not having to commute to work every single day. The pandemic forced Apple to delay the hybrid work model, turning the Apple Park headquarters into a ghost town.
Craig Federighi brings additional clarity
Following Cook’s email which covered Apple’s hybrid work model in broad strokes, senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, also sent memos to staff with additional details regarding the hybrid work model.
This afternoon Tim sent a note to team members across Apple on our hybrid pilot and return to office plans and I wanted to follow up with how this news will impact our team.
First, a huge thank you. The last few years have presented some real challenges to what we all do, and I appreciate your passion and commitment to creating delightful, amazing, high quality software for our customers and developers across the globe.
After years in limbo (and a couple of false starts) it’s really happening: the week of September 5th marks the true start of our hybrid work pilot in the Santa Clary Valley — and I personally can’t wait to experience the special energy of having all of us back in the office together again! Note: for all other locations, resumption dates may vary based on current conditions of COVID-19 around the world. You can expect to receive site specific communications soon from the Covid-19 Response Team with timing details for your locale.
As you read in Tim’s note, we are modifying the pilot such that our three days in the office include two days with all of us working together in the office on Tuesday and Thursday (our company-wide days), and one additional in-office day chosen by your team, prioritizing collaboration with your immediate co-workers. Over the coming week please share your input on your team’s third in-office day with your manager. This will help them determine what day works best for the overall team.
Needless to say, this next phase is a pilot, so the one thing of which we can be assured is that we’ll learn a great deal in the months to come.
I’m excited for this next chapter and all that lies ahead.
See you soon!
Don’t forget that September is the most important month for Apple.
The iPhone, Apple’s bread and butter, gets updated in September, as does the Apple Watch. Those releases mark the start of a product bonanza that continues into October (new Macs, iPads, AirPods, Apple TVs, etc.), sometimes even into November, as Apple unleashes its latest gadgets ahead of the holiday shopping season. Read: How to find and know your Apple ID on iPhone, iPad and Mac