Apple bends -- a bit -- on back to work

From Mark Gurman's "Apple Delays Plan to Have Staff in Office Three Days a Week" posted Tuesday on Bloomberg News:

Apple Inc. delayed a plan to require workers to come back to the office three days a week, citing a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, marking the latest setback in its efforts to return to normal.

The company informed employees Tuesday that it’s delaying the requirement, which had been slated to go into effect on May 23, according to a memo seen by Bloomberg. However, the company is still expecting workers to come to the office two days per week. The company said the requirement is being delayed for “the time being” and didn’t provide a new date.

My take: Covid-19 cases are on the rise, but so was resistance in the ranks.

See also: The myth of serendipitous ‘bumping into colleagues’ at Apple


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. My take: Covid-19 cases are on the rise, but so was resistance in the ranks.”

    PED, in all due respect to your insightful wisdom in many of these areas, you are missing what is transpiring here. Apple has not capitulated to a minuscule percentage of employees’ demands for WFH policy revision in such a critical area regarding the need to return to normalcy.

    WFH is an employee benefit. All companies treat WFH as an employee benefit. It remains a benefit at Apple and will continue to remain a critical employee benefit granted only to workers who have an explicit need for such benefit and whose job is appropriate for a WFH arrangement.

    Apple is making this delayed exception consistent with its past cautionary and preventive measures to protect its workers from COVID related viruses. No doubt exists in my mind that Apple wasn’t even thinking of worker resistance to the WFH policy when it extended the benefit and dropped its planned three days a week requirement to two days.

    It also is important to note that the complaining employees desire full-time WFH, if they could achieve it; and would like to avoid coming into the office even one day a week. For me, this is all déja vu. It is exactly as I remembered when we (Labor-management) were confronted with almost the exact same situation.

    The complaining workers would be doing themselves a great disservice if they were to read erroneously that this extension is related to their complaining. What is critical is they have this vital employee benefit available to them, as appropriate, to assist them in juggling better the responsibilities of work and family obligations.

    WFH is not an employee entitlement and never has been an employee entitlement.

    May 17, 2022
  2. ‘a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.’ Apple has large offices in many cities. This was a good decision, from a public health perspective. Apple has worked hard to position itself as a reliable source of personal health solutions. It makes sense they would err on the side of employee & customer well-being, at any time.
    Apps that help with workouts, pregnancy or menstruation were early App Store success stories. Apple AirPod lets us listen & workout without wires. Apple Watch, Apple Fitness+ and hopefully Apple Hearing+ will continue this positive trend of helping customers stay alive longer. I would be thrilled to see Apple solve the medical records conundrum.

    May 17, 2022

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