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posted by janrinok on Tuesday July 20, @04:43PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Apple employees threaten to quit as company takes hard line stance on remote work:

Apple employees claim the company is not budging on plans to institute a hybrid work model for corporate workers and is in some cases denying work-from-home exceptions, including one accommodation covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In June, Apple announced a hybrid work schedule that will see employees return to the office for three days a week starting in September, a shift toward normal corporate operations after the pandemic forced a lengthy work-from-home period. Days later, participants of what is assumed to be the same remote work advocacy Slack channel cited by The Verge asked more flexibility, saying that working from home brings a number of benefits including greater 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, and reduced spread of pathogens.

That request was flatly denied. In a video to employees late last month, SVP of retail and people Deirdre O'Brien toed the company line on remote work policies, saying, "We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future. 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."


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  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @04:50PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @04:50PM (#1158316)

    "and reduced spread of pathogens."

    *sigh* What a bunch of Marys.
    Almost makes me want Western civ to collapse just to see these people realize how useless they truly are.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @04:58PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @04:58PM (#1158322)

      Don't worry! Western civ is being saved on our behalf by overweight white guys in camo that can barely read. Your welcome libs.

      • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:45PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:45PM (#1158372)

        I'll take them over overweight men with blue hair and soy face.

        • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:57PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:57PM (#1158395)

          Maybe they could get a room and have their little sub/dom experience there.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:03PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:03PM (#1158383)

      Is MDC's ghost trying to say something here?

      I don't think the hours I keep now would be tolerated by many employers. --Michael David Crawford

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @04:53PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @04:53PM (#1158317)
    So quit. People who jump from job to job get faster rises in income than those who stick doggedly with one employer, and this isn't just limited to tech. Staying with one employer has huge opportunity costs. You don't see the bosses doing it.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Tork on Tuesday July 20, @05:02PM

      by Tork (3914) on Tuesday July 20, @05:02PM (#1158324)
      I think they're priming the pump by setting that expectation for other employers. Best of luck to them!
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by vux984 on Tuesday July 20, @07:10PM (3 children)

      by vux984 (5045) on Tuesday July 20, @07:10PM (#1158387)

      People who jump from job to job get faster rises in income than those who stick doggedly with one employer

      On average, yes, that strategy outperforms staying with one employer where raises may not come as fast, and those closer you get to the top of the pyramid the fewer openings there are to move up to.
      But it's more a case that if you are constantly looking for a new job, you'll eventually find one. And since you aren't going to take a job that is worse than the one you already have, it almost inevitably means a you'll see a rise in income/benefits.

      On the other hand, quitting your job, becoming unemployed, and then looking for a new job is an entirely different dynamic -- Your bargaining position isn't nearly as strong. And assuming you've got rent/mortgage, and want to eat regularly you aren't inevitably going to only accept a better job than the one you had, and every day unemployed digs a hole, so that even if you do get a better job at the end it may be a while before you are actually ahead.

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:00PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:00PM (#1158396)

        So in other words... work every day of your life? In case you miss out on that valuable promotion/raise/chance to impress a douchebag.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @09:28PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @09:28PM (#1158446)

          The self-employed would like to have a word with you out back, about working hours and days off. Would you mind? I don't want you bleeding on my linoleum, thanks.

        • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Tuesday July 20, @10:07PM

          by vux984 (5045) on Tuesday July 20, @10:07PM (#1158466)

          So in other words... work every day of your life? In case you miss out on that valuable promotion/raise/chance to impress a douchebag.

          No douchebag is going to be impressed by the desperation radiating off you. That is why you fail. :p

    • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday July 20, @10:14PM (2 children)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday July 20, @10:14PM (#1158471)

      Absolutely! Just move to another company named after fruit with a $2E12 market capitalization and global reach. How hard can that be?

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @10:17PM (1 child)

        by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @10:17PM (#1158474)

        What exactly does that do for me? Does that mean more money for me or why should I give a fuck?

        • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Tuesday July 20, @10:41PM

          by krishnoid (1156) on Tuesday July 20, @10:41PM (#1158484)

          I hear the other ones have blackjack and hookers. Or maybe they're willing to consider adding them [youtu.be] to poached-pear all the Apple employees who are on the fence about leaving.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by looorg on Tuesday July 20, @05:04PM (7 children)

    by looorg (578) on Tuesday July 20, @05:04PM (#1158325)

    I don't know which book the HR and MBA people have read about this three day at the office thing. But they are all spouting the same line now like parrots. So who came up with this 3-2 split and thought that this was a fantastic idea?

    I was offered such a job, not at Apple, at the beginning of the summer, the catch is that the office is then a seven hour, one way, train ride away. So I told them that they would in essence offer me a three day work week as the other two days would be spent on getting to and from the office. They didn't like that and instead sort of implied that I should travel on my own time. Also I couldn't chose which days I was at the office or not, but I got the impression that it wasn't office mon-wed and then home thur-fri. More like every other day or some shit just to make it even worse and completely pointless. Thanks but no thanks. My counteroffer of being at the office when needed but about two-three per month was not to their liking either.

    We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future.

    Indoctrination doesn't transfer via Zoom (or Teams or ...)?

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @05:32PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @05:32PM (#1158333)

      I don't know which book the HR and MBA people have read about this three day at the office thing. But they are all spouting the same line now like parrots. So who came up with this 3-2 split and thought that this was a fantastic idea?

      It's now "best practices". Which is corp-speak for "since everyone else is doing it I can't get blamed for doing it too".

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by khallow on Tuesday July 20, @05:49PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @05:49PM (#1158339) Journal

      I don't know which book the HR and MBA people have read about this three day at the office thing. But they are all spouting the same line now like parrots. So who came up with this 3-2 split and thought that this was a fantastic idea?

      It's mentioned here [linkedin.com]:

      By the time it’s safe to return to the office, many workers will have spent a year or more working from home. And many are enjoying the extra time and flexibility. Companies may let employees work from home two or more days per week, with some opting for three days in office, two days remote and then two days off — a 3-2-2 work week, if you will — according to Ashley Whillans, a professor at Harvard Business School. Some employers may even cut down to a four-day work week altogether.

      I don't know when or where she proposed that.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Tuesday July 20, @09:45PM (4 children)

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday July 20, @09:45PM (#1158457)

      The reason it's become dogma seems very simple: Management is in the habit of and would like 5 days in the office and 2 at home (allegedly not having to work, but all too frequently you do). Employees are now in the habit of and would like 5 days at home and 2 days actually off. 3-2-2 seems like the moderate path between the two: At worst, you'll get about 60% of the downside of the wrong decision.

      Why it's not working, of course, is that employees are very much in demand. I was motivated to check out what the full-time remote market looked like, and it's currently at tens of thousands of 6-figure jobs available and not always finding people. But management will often take a while for it to dawn on them that employee relations are sometimes a 2-way negotiation rather than my-way-or-the-highway.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @10:19PM (2 children)

        by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @10:19PM (#1158476)

        I work 40 hours a week. You want more, you pay more.

        I have a contract with my employer. Not a relationship.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:15AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:15AM (#1158573)

          I'll put in the occasional extra time if I'm on salary, but I do not suffer more than a handful of such hours per month. This idea that it is OK to grind your employees for 3-6 months to meet a badly conceived launch date needs to end, but as always it will only happen when the people demand it.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Opportunist on Wednesday July 21, @06:43AM

            by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday July 21, @06:43AM (#1158672)

            Depends. Do I get time off when I have private stuff to take care of? Do they pay for that time?

            If so, sure, they can have my time if we gotta make ends meet at work.

            So far, though, I didn't have an employer who agreed to this.

      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Tuesday July 20, @10:59PM

        by looorg (578) on Tuesday July 20, @10:59PM (#1158489)

        I guess it would be awfully empty in the spaceship doughnut corporate HQ in Apple Park (or whatever) if the PHB didn't have someone to lord over except each other.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @05:16PM (17 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @05:16PM (#1158326)

    I hope they make it stick. If the existing workforce walks out as a block, Apple isn't going to have much choice but to open up more remote work options. Same for Google, Pixar, Dreamworks, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.

    --
    My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 20, @05:53PM (13 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @05:53PM (#1158342) Journal
      Free market goes the other way too.

      Apple isn't a charity. Their employees aren't living to work. An actual free market intermediates. It doesn't pick sides.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @06:45PM (12 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @06:45PM (#1158373)

        The thing is, if enough techies local to Silicon Valley refuse to come in to work, Silicon Valley's only real option is hire remote workers - the industry would have to open their cash hoard very wide to pay relocation and local cost of living for a new batch of drones to fill their cubes.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 20, @09:42PM (8 children)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @09:42PM (#1158453) Journal

          if enough techies local to Silicon Valley refuse to come in to work, Silicon Valley's only real option is hire remote workers

          Or pay the people who do show up for work. That's a real option too. We'll see what works, and whether telecommuting is a real advantage or not.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @11:42PM (7 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @11:42PM (#1158504)

            Or pay the people who do show up for work. That's a real option too.

            I don't know what makes Apple tick. My beehive needs a certain supply of drones or else the whole colony collapses. I think we're turning about $1B/yr in annual sales on the backs of about 1000 drones. You can swap out a hundred drones or so a year and not notice, but when turnover gets too high productivity suffers, and that revenue stream dries up. It's business, if only 500 drones show up next year that's not $100M saved in employment expenses, that's potentially a complete shutdown of the revenue stream, loss of market share, maybe decades to rebuild.

            --
            My karma ran over your dogma.
            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday July 21, @03:22AM (6 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 21, @03:22AM (#1158604) Journal

              It's business, if only 500 drones show up next year that's not $100M saved in employment expenses, that's potentially a complete shutdown of the revenue stream, loss of market share, maybe decades to rebuild.

              Well, if telecommuting doesn't count as "showing up", then it's not going to matter how much it hurts the business.

              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 21, @01:18PM (4 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 21, @01:18PM (#1158735)

                Well, if telecommuting doesn't count as "showing up"

                Well, our local hive survived the pandemic with revenues intact, projects proceeding on schedule, and 100% of R&D working from home for 16 months now. Just because a couple of managers don't like not seeing butts in chairs doesn't mean WFH doesn't generate income for the business. If those managers insist and force the issue, a good chunk of our workers will start WFH with another business helping them to generate their revenues instead.

                So, the question is: what "counts" more, results, or opinions of leadership? In the past it has been the opinions in control, but we just got a demonstration of what happens when those opinions are overridden, and the macro-scale savings for businesses, employees and government funded infrastructure provisioning for working from home are enormous - like a +25% margin at least.

                Picture Octopus man Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie: Do you fear change?

                --
                My karma ran over your dogma.
                • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by khallow on Wednesday July 21, @05:51PM (3 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday July 21, @05:51PM (#1158804) Journal
                  Will your local hive survive when it's competing with hives that went back to the old ways? Sure I can see plenty of businesses that could thrive with telecommuting, but nobody has explained why Apple should be one of those. Their resistance to telecommuting indicates otherwise.
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 21, @06:18PM (2 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 21, @06:18PM (#1158822)

                    Will your local hive survive when it's competing with hives that went back to the old ways?

                    Almost certainly. We "innovate" by acquisition, it's not like much (benefit to the company) was going on in the office when we were all there.

                    Sure I can see plenty of businesses that could thrive with telecommuting, but nobody has explained why Apple should be one of those.

                    I feel a strong kinship between our product lines and the Apple ones. Loyal customers, "best in class" halo on the products, high prices, slow design cycle update rate... after a decade+ on track it's hard to derail the train, but it is possible if you completely de-staff. The big "Apple Innovation" I've noticed in the past couple of years is a magnetically attached auxillary battery lump - doesn't exactly take a room full of stable geniuses to come up with this kind of stuff, pretty sure that could be accomplished on a Zoom call.

                    Their resistance to telecommuting indicates otherwise.

                    Their resistance indicates the opinions of management - how often do you think these types of opinions reflect accurate facts?

                    --
                    My karma ran over your dogma.
                    • (Score: 0, Troll) by khallow on Thursday July 22, @01:08AM (1 child)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Thursday July 22, @01:08AM (#1158978) Journal

                      Their resistance indicates the opinions of management - how often do you think these types of opinions reflect accurate facts?

                      And your resistance indicates the opinion of someone who isn't management. I think we're just at a standard conflict of interest where each wants something. We'll see who gets what they want.

                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday July 22, @02:23AM

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday July 22, @02:23AM (#1158996)

                        And your resistance indicates the opinion of someone who isn't management.

                        I've been both, and in the 1990s when it was "crunch time" I'd take my work home and accomplish more in 2 weeks than I could accomplish in 3 months in the office - I got other kinds of things done when I was in the office, and for people who do that kind of work they should be there face to face getting those things done. The majority of work that I have done, however, gets done better out of all that, and I believe that applies to large portions of most tech corporations, from R&D to quality to accounting. Sales, marketing and upper management can continue to travel and meet as normal - they'd wither and die without their actual face time.

                        --
                        My karma ran over your dogma.
              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday July 21, @01:20PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday July 21, @01:20PM (#1158736)
                --
                My karma ran over your dogma.
        • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday July 20, @11:01PM (2 children)

          by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday July 20, @11:01PM (#1158491)

          These workers should be careful what they wish for.

          If it does turn out that remote work is "just as good" then there's no reason to hire Silicon Valley locals. Halve the salaries and hire techies in North Dakota or Kentucky. Or perhaps offshore the whole thing?

          We all have our horror stories about work done offshore. I do genuinely believe that there is advantage in physical co-location. What percentage of the week that needs to be remains to be seen.

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @11:36PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @11:36PM (#1158502)

            I have watched offshoring fail miserably for two decades, but it's not so much about the lack of butts in chairs. Different problems with different projects and cultures, and sometimes it works, but it never seems to be strong enough to shut down a whole office the way "Outsourced" portrayed. Our current company is trying to use offshoring for growth. I'm in R&D, so we continue domestic R&D and work with partners offshore for various projects. Maybe some day they'll embarass us in terms of productivity or efficiency or innovation - the way the Chinese did the cellphone industry - but in the things I've been doing for the last 20 years? Nah. Hasn't put any downward pressure on my salary.

            I think the ability to show up in the office is 99% of the battle, actually coming in? As long as my coworkers aren't there, I seem to have a "need" to be in office about 1 day out of 100. Coworkers are actually easier to reach now than they were when they had a desk they were supposed to be at.

            Are Silicon Valley salaries in jeopardy? At this point in my life, I couldn't care less - seems like they should be, but maybe they'll keep splashing out the big bucks and just use it to hire more attractive resumes.

            --
            My karma ran over your dogma.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:50PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @11:50PM (#1158507)

            Offshore is more than just working remotely, its timezone differences, language barriers, cultural nuances, tax implications, regulatory costs, etc. Yes, hiring from the country side or rural areas within the same region would make sense and that's the point. I'd rather move to the country side even with a pay reduction to match the lowered cost of living and work remotely than having to maintain an inflated cost of living so that I'm as close as possible to an over populated and polluted metropolitan hub.

    • (Score: 2) by richtopia on Tuesday July 20, @08:35PM (1 child)

      by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @08:35PM (#1158423) Homepage Journal

      We are in uncharted territory. It will be interesting if in five years two comparable companies take different strategies with WFH. For example GM mandating on-site attendance and Ford remaining remote (automotive comparison because I'm not sure who Apple's direct competitor is).

      Yes, hiring remote may open the labor pool to new talent. But there is something to be said for in-person interaction. In the last year a lot of talking heads have discussed this dynamic, but we are lacking robust examples how a large company handles long-term work from home.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @11:30PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @11:30PM (#1158500)

        I'm sure it depends on the corporate culture going into the transition as much as anything. Our leadership largely worked remotely pre-pandemic with maybe 10-20% in-person visits, so they "get it." There are also maybe 10-20% hold outs in management who held hard line on "butts in chairs," ironically one of those was responsible for me transferring divisions after I was acquired - and 6 months later he was out and his replacement would have been O.K. with me working remotely, but the division I transferred to (coincidentally close to my house) is a much better place to work and our local traditionalist director retired about 5 years ago, so we've been driving hard toward WFH leading into the pandemic already. My part of the office would be ~30-50% full pre-pandemic, now when you go in unless you have arranged to meet somebody while you're there, you're alone - or at least the 5 times I have set foot on campus in the last 15 months that's how it has been.

        --
        My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday July 21, @12:29AM

      by legont (4179) on Wednesday July 21, @12:29AM (#1158530)

      The problem is different. Look, an engineer is supposed to be able to dwell where he works. Suppose a fresh graduate accepts a position in NYC. He is supposed to be able to buy a two bedroom apartment next to his office right away. In a few years once he gets a wife and a child he should be able to afford a suburban house *in addition" to the apartment and hired help.
      They don't pay him enough? He is not an engineer, but a sucker. Lumpen proletariat. So, working from home is just the first step to working in reasonable environment for a reasonable salary.

      --
      "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
  • (Score: 2) by DavePolaschek on Tuesday July 20, @05:23PM (1 child)

    by DavePolaschek (6129) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @05:23PM (#1158331) Homepage Journal

    I worked there in 1995-96 (left just as SJ returned), and even then the “no remote work” policy was pretty well etched in stone. Rents were going up 30% annually in the South Bay then, and salaries were going up 3%. I offered to work for less remotely, but they were having none of it.

    Oh well. Turns out there are other companies that are just fine with remote work.

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Tork on Tuesday July 20, @05:26PM

      by Tork (3914) on Tuesday July 20, @05:26PM (#1158332)
      You just know somewhere deep within Apple some PHB has a spreadsheet with a field that reads: "Employees per square foot..."
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Beryllium Sphere (r) on Tuesday July 20, @05:37PM (5 children)

    by Beryllium Sphere (r) (5062) on Tuesday July 20, @05:37PM (#1158334)

    Then the passionate nerds more loyal to the product than to the company would insist on it.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Tuesday July 20, @06:26PM (1 child)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @06:26PM (#1158363) Journal

      The Walled Garden sounds more and more like a Prison Camp.

      --
      OMG! There are roving gangs going door to door FORCING people to get vaccinated!
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:03PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:03PM (#1158384)

        It depends on which side of the wall you're on, and which side you want to be on.

    • (Score: 2) by Mykl on Tuesday July 20, @11:04PM (2 children)

      by Mykl (1112) on Tuesday July 20, @11:04PM (#1158492)

      The Agile Manifesto seems to think it's pretty good.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:34AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:34AM (#1158531)

        The Agile Manifesto was written by extroverts who wandered into IT careers by mistake, and get lonely sitting there in front of the uncaring computer. So they invented pair programming and daily scrums so they can have face time with human beings every day, the way their extroverted little hearts dream of. By the gods, how I hate them.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:36AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @02:36AM (#1158584)

          I've had friends that did pair programming, they say it actually helped them become better programmers. Not something I'd be super interested in myself, but I can understand the value.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @05:42PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @05:42PM (#1158338)

    "We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future."

    lmao. fuck you Suited Whores.

    • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:32PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:32PM (#1158365)

      lmao. fuck you Suited Whores.

      Exactly the kind of reply that we would expect from the typical foul-mouthed ill-bred socially-inept incel autistic nerd that would be viscerally opposed to in-person collaboration.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:00PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:00PM (#1158381)

        That's a little bit funny, and a little bit on target - but fuck the suited whores anyway. There is often a "better way" but the suits can't and won't believe it, unless it's their own idea.

        Just because Grandpa Zoot Suit did it this way is no reason to keep doing it. Show me meaningful metrics if you want to convince me.

        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday July 20, @09:45PM (1 child)

          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @09:45PM (#1158456) Journal

          There is often a "better way" but the suits can't and won't believe it, unless it's their own idea.

          Who cares? If there is a genuine business advantage, it will be exploited and you'll get to work in your PJs.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @07:29PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @07:29PM (#1158871)

            BZZZT WRONG!

            You really gotta stop applying your econ 101 theories to everything. The advantage is for the workers, the capitalists don't care. While an increase in morale and possibly a small productivity boost are nice, they are unlikely to be large enough to even be noticeable in the background noise of company activity and external variations. This is evident in gaming companies that set an arbitrary deadline then work their devs 3+ months of overtime to try and meet it. Efficiency and morale plummet, but if the company meets the deadline they don't give a shit. Always another monkey available that can punch some keys.

    • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:05PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:05PM (#1158402)

      "We believe that in-person collaboration is essential to our culture and our future for you."

      FTFY. Meanwhile I'll be in the Seychelles and playing golf.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @05:52PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @05:52PM (#1158340)

    What is really going on here? I don't buy that it's that simple.

    For example, I completely believe that the employees want permanent work from home. For many people, it makes complete sense. Less time wasted in commutes, less money on commutes, less stupid crap with office dress and politics and window seats and fights over everything from thermostats to popcorn in microwaves. Their other arguments are plausible as well - but is that where it begins and ends? I don't think so. Here's why not: I think that this is a power struggle, and the people who want them back in the office want to do so because of cultural control elements.

    It stands to reason that the managers should be happy to ditch office space (budgets!), get work done wherever (cheaper employees!), and so on all down the line, with one exception: they don't get to micromanage half these people's waking lives without physical presence. The excuse is office culture. The need to do so is on the one hand the lust for power, and on the other hand extroversion gone wrong. It's been long observed that many good techies and related disciplines are introvert-friendly, but that the mentality involved in getting promoted and seeking managerial roles is extrovert-friendly. (I know one manager who, when the lockdowns started, was a sort of lost soul because even though everyone could see him on all the Zoom calls, he was tearing his hair out in what he perceived as total isolation.) Result: the people with a vested interest in management and cultural control are the people seeking returns to the office despite the objectively demonstrated superfluous nature of office presence.

    And the employees to whom this is most relevant, are on the verge of rebellion.

    OK, so that's the background.

    The other side of it is the observation that companies breathe employees. They take in a breath of employees, filling their roster with new faces ... and then they exhale, pushing out ones that they don't like. Which ones don't they like? Either unproductive ones, or ones that make management unhappy (not necessarily the same group). In this case we have a self-organising heuristic for finding ones that object to the management style in question - behold the octagonal pegs that hitherto had more-or-less fit into the square holes.

    The risk to Apple is that of no longer being a plum employer, of losing a lot of expertise and tribal knowledge and of course continuing to spend big money on floorspace. The hidden risk is what those employees might do for, or as competitors. Smart managers dedicated to Apple's welfare would care deeply about those concerns, but that's not what's going on here, so Apple would rather (as an organisation typified by the prejudices of management) push them out in the name of ideological purity.

    So far so good - it's a hypothesis. But is there any background that would support that hypothesis with regard to Apple's approach to my-way-or-the-highway?

    Yes. Their attitude to their users. It's a commonplace by now that Apple wants to tell users what to like, how to use it, and what to pay for it. When some users got too snotty as a group, Apple would simply ignore them, and the same applies to their developers. Apple's being run as a cult - always was, really. Do it Apple's way (evangelising their way of life and surrounding yourself with their emblems), or you're a filthy heathen only fit for buying handcrafted crap at elevated prices.

    It's a cult purging waverers.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Tuesday July 20, @10:37PM (1 child)

      by Thexalon (636) on Tuesday July 20, @10:37PM (#1158481)

      Which ones don't they like? Either unproductive ones, or ones that make management unhappy (not necessarily the same group).

      From what I've seen, unproductive employees who make management happy are not breathed out, at all. For example, at larger companies, it's pretty standard for managers to have reports whose real job (regardless of their title) is to engage in office politics on behalf of their patron. And Miss Suzy Longlegs who is always going in for private consultations to the CEO's office definitely doesn't have to worry about her productivity at her ostensible job.

      --
      The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
      • (Score: 2) by Joe Desertrat on Thursday July 22, @09:04PM

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) on Thursday July 22, @09:04PM (#1159233)

        The trouble a large number of remote workers face is that the corporate people whose existence is justified by holding meetings are there alone in the office making these sort of decisions with no one to object. You know, because the potential objectors are all away from the office actually getting real work done.
        You also have the risk of management with nothing else to do but manage by spreadsheet, the sort that look at numbers that say they can hire remote workers in a distant country that are way cheaper than the remote workers that could be commuting to the office. They don't care about loss of quality, productivity, etc. Their bonuses depend on the most recent quarter's numbers, not satisfied customers. They can bail out (possibly with a nice golden parachute) when things are about to crash, having milked their current position for all they could.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, @12:54AM (#1158535)

      "Apple is that of no longer being a plum employer"

      Apple stopped being one of the best companies to work for literally decades ago
      when sabbaticals, profit sharing, and binge/purge of employees started happening.
      They are also massive users of contract help now.

  • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @05:54PM (3 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @05:54PM (#1158343)

    Seriously, how on earth is it relevant where I put my cadaver when I'm working? Anything I do I can do from literally anywhere on the planet as long as that place has a stable internet connection.

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by c0lo on Tuesday July 20, @05:59PM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @05:59PM (#1158349) Journal

      What is it with companies wanting warm bodies?

      They don't like to fuck cold bodies, can you blame their taste?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:08PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:08PM (#1158404)

        It is much more satisfying yelling at people in person and watch them cower every day knowing they hate being here but still sit there in fear until exactly 5.01pm.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Tuesday July 20, @05:57PM

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday July 20, @05:57PM (#1158346) Journal

    Apple Work-From-Home Set-Up To Be Implemented in October as COVID-19 Cases Surge [techtimes.com]

    Kick the can down the road, we tried, didn't like how it turned, let's wait and see. If the fuckers can find other workplaces, then we will reconsider because we must. But maybe we can arrange a little thing between us, like we did with the anti-poaching [cnet.com] a while back.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Dale on Tuesday July 20, @05:58PM (9 children)

    by Dale (539) on Tuesday July 20, @05:58PM (#1158348)

    One thing that most people haven't considered yet......If you can do your job remotely then your job can also probably be done from southeast asia or eastern Europe.

    My employer forced us back to the office in July 2020 (year ago). Nothing fell through the cracks while people were remote, they just don't believe anything gets done unless they are standing over you to see it being done. It is shitty management, but there are tons of places that believe like that.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:02PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:02PM (#1158352)

      If you can do your job remotely then your job can also probably be done from southeast asia or eastern Europe.

      Maybe, maybe not, not generally true.

      • (Score: 2) by Tork on Tuesday July 20, @07:01PM

        by Tork (3914) on Tuesday July 20, @07:01PM (#1158382)
        Yep. Or to put it another way: It's not like COVID was the excuse any corp needed to outsource jobs remotely over-seas. It's also worth mentioning that those same people who want cheap overseas work also want their proprietary shit to not get leaked. I think the OP's point is valid I just don't think it's super wide-spread.
        --
        Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @06:59PM (2 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @06:59PM (#1158379)

      most people haven't considered yet......If you can do your job remotely then your job can also probably be done from southeast asia or eastern Europe.

      Ummm.... yeah. I watched "Outsourced" - the movie and the TV series, both are quite entertaining.

      In my industry(ies, actually) I have been working with colleagues in India, China, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, and other places I've forgotten by now, and most of them hold this scary promise of taking our jobs and doing them for less. More often, the experimental relationship fails. Certain things outsource well, most don't - even with super-broadband connections. Sister production plant on a Caribbean island not to be named starts screwing up an entire product line, mainland production plant takes over their production load while they are shut down for 6 months to figure out what went wrong - product line worth some hundreds of millions per year, I doubt the mainland plant is going anywhere. Similar relationship at another company, a different Caribbean island but they never managed to move a single product line out of the mainland facility - but management got to take lots of trips to the Caribbean to "oversee" the startup process that never completed. Eastern europeans who gladly take a 40 hour paycheck and try to get away with 3 hours of work in exchange. Our Chinese counterparts are very intelligent, and driven - hard workers, and not a one has held a higher level engineering position for more than 8 months yet - in 5 years. India promises to parallel our development efforts, my first project with the company was on a team of about 8 mostly new hires and we went from "go" to shipping product in less than a year. The Indian "center of excellence" with much more headcount has had a similar project in progress for about 3 years now, no word on when they might be completing. Doc in Switzerland had a literal room full of PhD post-docs doing research for him using software I was writing, never seemed to come up with a software engineer to implement his ideas, he kept hiring us to expand our built-from-scratch solution for him.

      Yes, the prospect of "done for less overseas" is scary, but my real wages have been going nowhere but up ever since the internet made global outsourcing of my job possible.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:12PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:12PM (#1158406)

        So truly the white man rules all? Or what's going on? Especially Switzerland, you think they'd have enough decent German stock to pull it off.

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:24PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @08:24PM (#1158412)

          Seems like a more plausible answer is that US business methods seem to have a better general outcome, for some reason. Plausibly, cultural. The US certainly doesn't represent purebred anything.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday July 20, @07:03PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday July 20, @07:03PM (#1158385)

      Shop around, we hired up during the pandemic so much that we can't all return to office anymore. We've had problems attracting talent to our location, with remote work we're getting a better hiring pool and loving the results so far.

      --
      My karma ran over your dogma.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:09PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @07:09PM (#1158386)

      they just don't believe anything gets done unless they are standing over you to see it being done

      It's difficult to feel that you're higher up in social status unless you're physically lording it over those who are lower status.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Tuesday July 20, @09:17PM

      by sjames (2882) on Tuesday July 20, @09:17PM (#1158442) Journal

      The other side of it is if I don't like the cost of the management and real-estate overhead, I can buy products directly from south east Asia.

      Why should I pay a premium for a product manufactured in China when I can just buy direct?

    • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @10:25PM

      by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @10:25PM (#1158479)

      Nope, it cannot.

      Try, just try, to tell a bank that their security should be handled from Bangalore. Over here, CEOs are personally, read, with their private money, liable for gross negligence. They'd rather pay local rates than have someone go "well, duh, what did you expect hiring (insert very bad racist word here)?".

  • (Score: 2) by hopdevil on Tuesday July 20, @06:25PM (4 children)

    by hopdevil (3356) on Tuesday July 20, @06:25PM (#1158362)

    Those employees working from home decided (or should have, if they were smart) that it was cheaper to live elsewhere. Why pay silicon valley rent when you could live and work literally anywhere with a good internet connection?

    So cut their wages, or hire remote workers for much cheaper.

    The culture Apple and Google, etc, want to keep is enticing employees to stay long hours at an office with fewer distractions. Doesn't work when they aren't there.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Tuesday July 20, @10:14PM (3 children)

      by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday July 20, @10:14PM (#1158470)

      How exactly does my cost of living influence how much I'm worth to the company? If I decide to move into a flat that costs twice as much, will you double my salary?

      • (Score: 2) by looorg on Tuesday July 20, @10:57PM (2 children)

        by looorg (578) on Tuesday July 20, @10:57PM (#1158487)

        This is one of those things that I don't quite understand either. Sure I understand that if you live in the big cool city you need to cover rent somehow and so the pay sort of have to be able to cover it. At the same time it's a bit a choice if I want to live in luxury or if I'm ok with a normal or small flat and that shouldn't change my pay (or value) to the company. So from their perspective I assume they don't want to pay NYC, SF or Cupertino (San Jose?) salaries for someone that lives in Podunk, whatever. Even tho it shouldn't change their value to the company. But apparently it does. After all if I could 100% remote work I could take my big city salary and then do my work from a bar in Bangkok.

        • (Score: 2) by Opportunist on Wednesday July 21, @06:41AM

          by Opportunist (5545) on Wednesday July 21, @06:41AM (#1158671)

          I guess that's only ok when the corporation does it. It's called "outsourcing" in that case.

          If you cut costs by moving abroad, it sure gets another title. Something along the lines of "tax dodging" or something.

        • (Score: 2) by slinches on Wednesday July 21, @03:48PM

          by slinches (5049) on Wednesday July 21, @03:48PM (#1158754)

          I understand it. It's because wages are traditionally set by the local market and people who live in lower cost areas typically have fewer options of employers and are more often willing to accept lower pay due to those factors. Employers know this and set their pay scales accordingly. Although, if the recent expansion in remote work sticks around it will definitely cause some of those market forces to shift.

  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 20, @06:55PM (#1158377)

    No shit, Sherlock, remote workers figured out that they could do 2 hours a day of actual work, maybe a Zoom meeting here and there, and still get paid full salary. And Zoom meetings are minimized by mutual unspoken agreement because fags, women, and trannies don't like to have to look at their own faces -- and boy, do these companies hire a lot of fags, women, and trannies!

    All these big Jew-run companies that chose to play along with the Globalist pandemic scam are now trying to walk back the consequences of their "new normal." I could understand smaller companies doing this, because the Jew-run large-loaners like Blackrock and Vanguard insist on their clients adopting Judeo-Bolshevik values and mandatory vaccinations before the loans are dispensed (didn't know that, didya? An extra machine or more factory space paid for with a Blackrock loan makes a huge difference in growing a medium-sized business). But Apple don't need to do that because they have so much fucking money and guaranteed revenue streams from cultist consumerist hipster faggots and Mexicans who work but live with their parents until age 35.

    Though in Apple's case, it shouldn't affect 'em much since they're Just Another Chinese Crap Vendor who haven't innovated shit in the past 15 years. They're pretty much like Hollywood, sequel after sequel with quality getting worse and zero fucking innovation. But still, it's amusing watching these companies who are between a rock and a hard place, who have painted themselves into a corner, try to desperately reconcile that they want everybody back in the office with vaccination being a condition to do so, while people who have been vaccinated are still getting the 'Rona and being told to mask up.

    So now remote workers can leverage the company's own bullshit excuses against it in not wanting to risk infection, while the Jewish management have to bite their lip in respecting a "pandemic" they know to be complete bullshit, while more and more believe vaccines to be complete bullshit because they don't prevent infection.

    Meanwhile, Apple can't do shit about all their dead-weight and lazy diversity candidates working from home because that would be racist. So they could try lowering remote workers' salaries and making negative cost of living adjustments depending on location. The former would work because Apple employees are essentially cult members who are worked like dogs to serve their messiah, the latter can and should be gamed quite easily.

  • (Score: 2) by sonamchauhan on Wednesday July 21, @02:50AM (1 child)

    by sonamchauhan (6546) on Wednesday July 21, @02:50AM (#1158591)

    Don't mean to be mean, and maybe she's perfectly capable in both roles.

    But a single person responsible for "retail and people"? That's an unusual fusion of roles. Maybe there's bleedover of views on how to manage retail infrastructure, and how to manage corporate backend workers.

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