Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook sent out a letter outlining the plan for returning to the company’s offices after a lengthy period of remote working during the pandemic. Apple employees, he explained, will be required to show up for work in the office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and will be allowed to work from home on Wednesdays and Fridays.
On top of this, employees are permitted to work from home for two weeks each year, if they secure the approval of their immediate supervisor.
But a group of Apple employees have protested against the new rules that will come into force this autumn. A letter sent in an internal Slack channel at Apple with 2,800 members expresses “a growing concern” and demands more flexible rules for home and office work.
“Apple’s remote/location-flexible work policy, and the communication around it, have already forced some of our colleagues to quit,” the letter reads. “Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many of us feel we 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. This is a decision none of us take lightly, and a decision many would prefer not to have to make.”
Among other things, the letter’s authors call for better communication between management and staff, and for each team to have greater freedom to stipulate its own rules for remote working.
Apple has been preparing for the return to office life for a long time – we covered the company’s plans as early as May 2020, when the duration and seriousness of the pandemic was not yet fully clear. But even then we pointed out the discrepancy between Apple’s enthusiasm for returning to an onsite model and the allowances made by other tech companies: Twitter, for example, said staff could work from home “forever”.
The letter, which can be read in its entirety on The Verge, was sent out to be signed by Apple employees on Friday. Apple has not yet commented on the matter.
This article originally appeared on Macworld Sweden. Translation and additional reporting by David Price.