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Some Apple employees are losing their minds over its return to office plan

Published Apr 4th, 2022 9:59AM EDT
Tim Cook at WWDC 2021
Image: Apple

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Like scores of companies around the US, Apple is set to begin its post-pandemic return to office plan for employees in a matter of days. Next week, in fact, the first phase of the iPhone maker’s multi-part RTO scenario gets underway, with the idea being that employees start coming back one day a week. That eventually ramps up to being back in the office two days a week. And then, finally, three days a week, with an extra “flexible” day. The problem?

Many of the company’s employees apparently think this is a dumb idea. So much so, that a number of them are using an anonymous app to complain about it all. As well as threaten to quit.

Apple return to office 2022

Apple CEO Tim Cook is apparently a big believer in the Steve Jobs-ian school of thought about creativity. For it to work, tons of people basically need to be co-located. Ergo, Apple’s giant spaceship-looking headquarters campus. As well as the hybrid work plan which the company announced at the end of last year.

“For many of you, I know that returning to the office represents a long-awaited milestone and a positive sign that we can engage more fully with the colleagues who play such an important role in our lives,” Cook wrote in an email to employees that was seen by The Verge. “For others, it may also be an unsettling change. I want you to know that we are deeply committed to giving you the support and flexibility that you need in this next phase.”

One other important point that he added: This RTO plan does include an option to work remotely for up to four weeks a year.

Will Tim Cook have a rebellion on his hands?

tim cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook is shown at Apple headquarters. Image source: Apple/YouTube

Apple’s employee policy stands in sharp contrast, however, to some of its tech industry peers. Companies like Meta and Google are letting some employees work from home forever. That might explain some of the angry reactions from Apple employees to the return to office policy thus far. Like the frustrated staffer who complained on the corporate review app Blind in recent days that “I don’t give a single f**k about ever coming back to work here.

“I’m going to go in to say hello and meet everyone since I haven’t since I started and then sending in my resignation when I get home. I already know I won’t be able to deal with the commute and sitting around for 8 hours.”

Another Apple employee chimed in with a laughing emoji and promised to do the same thing. Added yet another staffer: “Hell YEAH my man let’s do this! F**k RTO.”

Three employee rants, of course, do not a definite trend make. It does, at a minimum, point to a cost of some sort that will be paid by Apple for bringing employees back to the office. Apple, to be sure, can often come off as this warm and fuzzy paradise for creatives. That’s how supporters, at any rate, and certainly company executives want the place to be seen. Is the bubble bursting, or threatening to? “Totally bummed and looking into full remote jobs now,” another Apple employee wrote on the Blind app.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.