Apple employees tell the CEO’s return to the office will hurt black people

Apple wants its employees to eventually work from the office three days a week (Image: Getty)

A group of Apple employees is resisting its decision to send corporate workers back to their desks — arguing that it would harm people of color and less physical ability.

The tech company told its employees that they will be required to be in the workplace one day a week starting April 11, then two days a week, and three days a week after May 28.

The hybrid working pilot scheme was first announced in June but has been delayed due to the emergence of new Covid variants.

CEO Tim Cook said the move would allow colleagues to “completely engage” with each other and that Apple was “strongly committed to giving”. [them] Support and flexibility during the transition period.

However, a group of its employees, organized under the newly formed workers’ rights group Apple Together, argued that the shift was motivated not by better communication but by the company’s fear of the future of work, and fear of worker independence. [and] Fear of losing control.

In an open letter to Mr. Cook, they recognized the benefit of face-to-face collaboration, but it wasn’t something that had to happen on a monthly basis, at least not weekly, as they described the hybrid work scheme as ‘one of the most ineffective ways to enable everyone to be in a room’ one.

Employees argued that the “serendipity that comes from bumping into colleagues” in the office the CEO talked about was redundant given that the company had 37 offices in the US alone before it went far away during the Covid pandemic.

“We are not all in one place. We do not have just one office, we have many. Our functional organizations often have their own office buildings, where employees from other organizations cannot work,” the letter stated.

CUPERTINO, CA - OCTOBER 28: An aerial view of Apple Park is seen in Cupertino, California, US on October 28, 2021 (Photo by Tayfun Co??kun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Together, Apple argued that moving to the officer was a ‘waste of mental and material resources’ (Image: GETTY)

The staff group said the new requirement would change the makeup crew, make the company less inclusive, and hurt certain ages, genders and races.

“It will make Apple younger, whiter, more male-dominated, neurologically complex, and more physically capable, in short, it will lead to privileges in deciding who can work for Apple, not who will be the best.” Continue the message.

Privileges like ‘being born in the right place so you don’t have to move’, ‘being young enough to start a new life in a new city/country’ or ‘having a wife at home who will move with you’.

Apple will probably always find people willing to work here, but our current policies that require everyone to commute to the office where their team lives, and be in the office at least three fixed days out of the week, will change the makeup of our workforce.

epa09810885 An image provided by Apple shows Apple CEO Tim Cook announcing a new range of products during the Apple Keynote event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California, USA, March 8, 2022. EPA / APPLE HANDOUT / BRROKS KRAFT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY / No sales for manual editorial use only / No sales

Tim Cook said the move would allow colleagues to ‘fully participate’ (Photo: EPA)

Apple Together said that for many, employees’ creativity and work depend on having “time for deep reflection” which is something it claims in an office — particularly the company’s new open-plan workspaces — doesn’t offer.

“Desk-related work is a technology from the last century, from the era before the ubiquitous Internet capable of video calling and everyone using the same in-house chat application,” she wrote.

“But the future is about connecting when it makes sense, with people who have relevant input, no matter where they are.”

Plans to bring company employees back to the office three days a week offer “almost no flexibility whatsoever” particularly because of the commute many have to make to get to the office which is “a huge waste of time as well as both mental and physical resources,” she said. community.

“We can’t believe we need to explain this, but moving into the office, without actually having to be there, is a huge waste of time as well as mental and material resources,” she wrote.

Barcelona, ​​Catalonia, Spain - 04/26/2022: The logo of the American multinational technology company Apple seen at the entrance to its store in Barcelona, ​​Spain.  (Photo by Thiago Prudencio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Apple Together was formed last summer by two employees (Image: SOPA)

Many of us spend several hours each day commuting to and from the office, only to be in an environment where we can do our work less well or make a video call anyway, because we need to work with an office colleague on the other side of town, country or planet .

While Apple Together didn’t ask for everyone to work from home, it wanted employees to be able to make work arrangements themselves, with teams and managers.

She added, “Now we’re asking you, the executive team, to also show some flexibility and drop the strict policies of the Hybrid Work Program. Stop trying to control how many times you can see us in the office.”

Apple Together said the irony of Apple pushing its products to customers as great for working remotely while not letting its employees go is not lost.

How do we expect our customers to take this seriously? How can we understand the problems of remote work that need to be resolved in our products, if we do not live with them? Read her message.

How can we expect to persuade the best people to come work with us, if we turn down anyone who needs the least amount of flexibility? How can we expect them to do their best job, but not trust them to know how to do it? “

Apple Together was formed in August by two ex-employees engineer Cher Scarlett and Janneke Parish who encourage employees to submit stories about racism, sexism or discrimination in the workplace.

Before the letter was drafted, employees reportedly tried to raise concerns about new working arrangements within Apple’s internal channels “unsuccessfully”.

“There is a huge disconnect between executive leadership and people,” an Apple Together member told CNN Business, adding, “The further you go down the chain, the more empathy erodes.”

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