Dear Tim and Executive Leadership,
Thank you on your considerate issues on a hybrid method to returning to office work, and for sharing it with all of us early this week. We recognize your efforts in navigating what has been undeniably an extremely troublesome time for everybody round the world, and doing so for over 100 thousand individuals. We are sure you’ve gotten extra plans than have been shared on Wednesday, however are following Apple’s time-honored custom of solely saying issues when they’re prepared. However, we really feel like the present coverage is just not adequate in addressing a lot of our wants, so we wish to take a while to clarify ourselves.
This previous yr has been an unprecedented problem for our firm; we had to find out how to ship the similar high quality of services that Apple is understood for, all whereas working virtually fully remotely. We did so, attaining one other record-setting yr. We discovered a manner for everybody to help one another and reach a totally new manner of working collectively — from areas we have been in a position to select at our personal discretion (usually at residence).
However, we want to take the alternative to talk a rising concern amongst our colleagues. That Apple’s distant/location-flexible work coverage, and the communication round it, have already pressured a few of our colleagues to give up. Without the inclusivity that flexibility brings, many people really feel we’ve got to select between both a mix of our households, our well-being, and being empowered to do our greatest work, or being part of Apple. This is a choice none of us take frivolously, and a choice many would favor not to have to make. These considerations are largely what prompted us to advocate for adjustments to these insurance policies, and knowledge collected will replicate these considerations.
Over the final yr we frequently felt not simply unheard, however at occasions actively ignored. Messages like, ‘we all know a lot of you might be keen to reconnect in individual together with your colleagues again in the office,’ with no messaging acknowledging that there are immediately contradictory emotions amongst us feels dismissive and invalidating. Not solely do many people already really feel well-connected with our colleagues worldwide, however better-connected now than ever. We’ve come to look ahead to working as we are actually, with out the every day want to return to the office. It seems like there’s a disconnect between how the govt crew thinks about distant / location-flexible work and the lived experiences of a lot of Apple’s employees.
For many people at Apple, we’ve got succeeded not regardless of working from residence, however largely due to having the ability to work outdoors the office. The final yr has felt like we’ve got really been in a position to do the greatest work of our lives for the first time, unconstrained by the challenges that every day commutes to workplaces and in-person co-located workplaces themselves inevitably impose; all whereas nonetheless having the ability to take higher care of ourselves and the individuals round us.
Looking round the nook, we consider the future of labor shall be considerably extra location and timezone versatile. In truth, we’re already a distributed firm with workplaces throughout the world and throughout many alternative timezones. Apple’s organizational hierarchy lends itself in the direction of workplaces that usually observe the similar construction, whereby individuals in the similar group are extra seemingly to be co-located in an office. At the similar time, we strongly encourage cross-functional, cross-organization collaboration, and our group’s many horizontal groups replicate this. Such collaboration is broadly celebrated throughout our group, and arguably leads us to our greatest outcomes — it is one in every of the issues that makes Apple, Apple. However, orgs are hardly ever co-located inside strolling distance, not to mention in the similar constructing, which means our greatest collaboration has at all times required distant communication with groups in different workplaces and throughout timezones, since lengthy earlier than the pandemic. We encourage distributed work from our enterprise companions, and we have been a remote-communication needed firm for a while, a imaginative and prescient of the future that Steve Jobs himself predicated in an interview from 1990. This could clarify how necessary out-of-office work enabled tearing down cross-functional communication limitations to ship even higher outcomes.
Almost all of us have labored absolutely distant for over a yr now, although the expertise arguably would have been higher much less one pandemic. We have developed two main variations of all our working techniques, organized two full WWDCs, launched quite a few new merchandise, transitioned to our personal chipsets, and supported our prospects with the similar stage of care as earlier than. We have already piloted location-flexible work the final 15 months underneath far more excessive situations and we have been very profitable in doing so, discovering the following advantages of distant and location-flexible work for a lot of our colleagues:
- Diversity and Inclusion in Retention and Hiring
- Tearing Down Previously Existing Communication Barriers
- Better Work Life Balance
- Better Integration of Existing Remote / Location-Flexible Workers
- Reduced Spread of Pathogens
We ask on your help in enabling those that need to work remotely / in location-flexible methods to proceed to accomplish that, letting everybody work out which work setup works greatest for them, their crew, and their position — be it in one in every of our workplaces, from residence, or a hybrid answer. We live proof that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all coverage for individuals. For Inclusion and Diversity to work, we’ve got to acknowledge how completely different all of us are, and with these variations, come completely different wants and alternative ways to thrive. We really feel that Apple has each the duty to acknowledge these variations, in addition to the functionality to absolutely embrace them. Officially enabling particular person administration chains and particular person groups to make choices that work greatest for his or her groups roles, people, and desires — and having that be the official said coverage slightly than the uncommon particular person exceptions — would alleviate the considerations and reservations many people presently have.
We perceive that inertia is actual and that change is troublesome to obtain. The pandemic forcing us to work at home has given us a novel alternative. Most of the change has already occurred, distant/location-flexible work is presently the ‘new regular,’ we simply want to be sure we make the better of it now. We consider that Apple has the capability to be a pacesetter on this realm, not by declaring ‘everybody simply work at home for without end,’ as another corporations have accomplished, however by declaring an official broad paradigm coverage, that enables particular person leaders to make choices that may allow their groups to do the greatest work of their lives. We strongly consider that is the preferrred second to ‘burn the boats’ — to boldly declare ‘sure this may be accomplished, and accomplished efficiently, as a result of there isn’t a different alternative for the future.’
We have gathered a few of our requests and motion objects to assist proceed the dialog and ensure everyone seems to be heard.
- We are formally requesting that Apple considers distant and location-flexible work choices to be as autonomous for a crew to determine as are hiring choices.
- We are formally requesting a company-wide recurring quick survey with a clearly structured and clear communication / suggestions course of at the company-wide stage, organization-wide stage, and team-wide stage, masking matters listed beneath.
- We are formally requesting a query about worker churn due to distant work be added to exit interviews.
- We are formally requesting a clear, clear plan of motion to accommodate disabilities by way of onsite, offsite, distant, hybrid, or in any other case location-flexible work.
- We are formally requesting perception into the environmental impression of returning to onsite in-person work, and the way everlasting remote-and-location-flexibility may offset that impression.
We have nice respect for Apple and its management; we strongly consider in the Innovation and Thinking Differently (from ‘the manner issues have at all times been accomplished’ and ‘trade requirements’) which might be a part of Apple’s DNA. We all want to proceed to ‘bleed six colours’ at Apple itself and never elsewhere. At Apple, our most vital useful resource, our soul, is our individuals, and we consider that making certain we’re all heard, represented, and validated is how we proceed to defend and defend that treasured sentiment.
This is just not a petition, although it might resemble one. This is a plea: let’s work collectively to really welcome everybody ahead.