In a shocking move that has incited protest from its employees, Apple has said no to fully remote work.
On June 2, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that employees come September must begin working in the office three days per week, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This allows for more remote working than the company originally intended, formerly being against remote working all together. Despite this the announcement has been met with employee protest.
This protest has come in the form of a letter written by Apple employees to Tim Cook calling for greater flexibility and choice when it comes to remote working. Beginning its life in a Slack channel containing more than 2,800 supporters of remote working, it was written, signed and edited by approximately 80 Apple employees.
In this letter, many at the company expressed that their desire for flexible working had not only been unheard, but also “actively ignored”, especially in Cook's announcement of the plan for the hybrid working week.
Whilst a majority of companies like Apple are likely to implement a hybrid working model, with three days in the office and two spent at home, there are companies like Netflix and JPMorgan who have rejected the possibility of remote working all together.
This, many would argue, is a mistake.
This backlash by Apple employees speaks to a wider realisation among many workers - that remote working has made having a work-life balance possible for them.
Commutes cut into time and money that could be spent resting and recuperating with family and friends. Working remotely gives individuals freedom and flexibility to enjoy their own space and allocate more time to domestic tasks and hobbies.
And for those with young children, remote working allows them to better balance work and familial responsibilities, opening the door to those typically disadvantaged due to childcare needs like mothers.
Contrary to the common criticism of remote working, that employees will just slack off, studies have demonstrably shown the opposite.
A ConnectSolutions study found working remotely can increase productivity by 77%, due to a quieter, more convenient workspace, fewer breaks and less sick days. 30% of respondents reported they did more work in less time, and 24% said they did more work in the same period of time.
A similar study by Stanford also found that workers reported improved work satisfaction, and attrition rates were cut by 50%.
In addition to all this, offering fully remote work means offering employment opportunities for those who do not have the money, access and freedom to commute or move to a specific area.
What employees have realised they can have, and now want now more than ever, is flexibility. And workers from Apple have shown they are prepared to fight for it, with some even threatening to quit.
Well, there is good news for employers, it's possible to maintain flexible working conditions that both work for employees and your business.
Remote working comes with fewer expenses, keeps your staff safer and allows for greater productivity through new ways of working. For many companies, it's a way to do more with less, and can be an opportunity to innovate and strengthen your organisation and communication strategies.
For companies looking to provide employees with that flexibility there comes a crucial question: what technologies do I have to support this? To keep everyone in my team on the same page?
Due to the Pandemic there has been a massive growth in collaborative platforms, with business hopping onto Microsoft Teams, Slack, Trello and Google Docs. If you want to provide the technology that will make this flexibility possible as a business owner, then you need to know your IT inside out.
Thanks to Adobe stock for the image.