Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Apple CEO Impressed by Remote Work, Sees Permanent Changes (bloomberg.com)
227 points by hrishikesh1990 on Sept 22, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 197 comments

Interesting how cherry picking quotes can push whatever narrative you want. In a different article, it said “while there are advantages to the temporary system, a physical presence at the office is irreplaceable, Cook said.” https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/09/22/apple-ceo-tim-coo...

He just finished building a $5b headquarters. I’m sure that affected his opinion.

That $5bn will get amortised either way, used or not used by employees.

What I can assure you is that with ~$200bn in the bank account, this a drop in the bucket, and has not affected any remote work decision.

Money aside, that building is a marketing vehicle. It's meant to show Apple in the posh, advanced, and sustainable light it wants to be seen (whether that image is true or not is another question, but such is marketing).

It was also built to draw in new talent, but in a pandemic it's probably not the attractor they hoped it would be. I doubt Cook is losing sleep over it, but the pandemic definitely messed with his long term plans (like most everyone else, of course).

It also is set up to launch into space and orbit the Earth.

> It was also built to draw in new talent

Was it? I mean, clearly Apple needed more office space while they're ramping up hiring, but do potential employees really care about that building?

Pandemic messed up the whole supply chain. This is P0 for Tim, everything else pales in comparison

I would hope that someone of Tim Cook's experience and stature understands what a sunk cost is.

I thought the building was a marketing stunt. Apple has 137k employees and the campus seems to have a 2k employee capacity.

Some funny bits from Wikipedia

> The use of special wood as a construction material was reported to be the subject of a 30-page guideline.

> The design of door handles was reported to be the subject of a one and a half year debate, involving several revisions before the Apple management gave its approval.

According to Wikipedia the building houses 12K employees. Also, not all 137K employees are in Cupertino.

Thank you for sharing this. The Bloomberg quote seems to be literally the opposite of what he said. Looks like media has decide "we are going remote" headline gets the clicks

Perhaps you couldn't read the article because of the paywall, but it does include the following:

> Cook said 10% to 15% of Apple employees have gone back to the office and he hopes the majority of staff can return to the company’s new campus in Silicon Valley sometime next year. The CEO said he goes into the office at different points during the week and he noted that remote work is “not like being together physically.” Working in the office sparks creativity such as during impromptu meetings, he added.

Overall it's a balanced article that shows Cook both acknowledging WFH benefits and reiterating the perceived advantages of the office.

No it's not the opposite. Tim Cook made two statements to bulid a slightly nuanced thesis, and both articles presented the nuance, and some commenters are inventing a one-sided straw argument to attack.

>both articles presented the nuance

No they didn't, and that's the problem. It's not a "straw argument".

Cook, in an interview, said something that included both a pro-remote statement and a pro-office statement. The AppleInsider article included both of these statements. Bloomberg, OTOH, only included the pro-remote statement in their article.

It's lying by omission.

Exactly this! Journalist should report "from all perspectives". But today rarely we see this - just look CNN and Fox News - only a single perspective is reported on both sides! "It's lying by omission."

Always makes sense to hear the original conversation https://youtu.be/Pk3tcpIAYUo starting 10 minutes into the video.

Seems to me that Tim Cook is pro office, while appreciating the alternative approach where possible

Or, both thing can be true. He can believe a physical office is necessary, while also believing changes should be made to make it easier for people to sometimes work from home.

Beside the point of media narratives, I think it tends to depend on the type of work being done. IMO, it's a lot easier to effectively collaborate remotely on most types of software, particularly cloud/web software. It's much tougher to imagine it working out well for troubleshooting electrical or mechanical issues in hardware prototypes.

There's too many tests that can only be done hands-on and require expensive and delicate instruments. Too many issues that can come up with engineers using different physical prototype hardware and different instruments, misunderstanding communication about what is being measured where, misinterpreting results. And too much time overhead in shipping things around the country constantly.

This is a necessary consequence of compressing any non-trivial idea into a single headline, and if you assume without evidence that the only two possible narratives are "no remote" and "all remote".

Both articles, despite your insinutation of different narratives, contain the same quote "I don't believe that we'll return to the way we were, because we found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually,"

>Both articles, despite your insinutation of different narratives, contain the same quote "I don't believe that we'll return to the way we were, because we found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually,"

The actual quote is:

>"In all candor, it's not like being together physically, and so I can't wait for everybody to be able to come back into the office. I don't believe that we'll return to the way we were, because we found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually," Cook said. "But things like creativity and the serendipity that you talk about, these things, you depend on people kind of running into each other over the course of a day. We have designed our entire office such that there are common areas where people congregate and talk about different things, and you can't schedule those things."

And both articles do not contain this same quote. The Bloomberg article only contains a fragment of that quote, which seems to be specifically cherry picked to further a narrative.

Being on the ground at the fruit company, this quote is representative of reality there. Remote is a dud for well over half of employees. If remote work was ever going to be a smash, it was going to be with everyone doing it simultaneously. Remote work will be chilled after this I think.

Yeah "Apple CEO undecided on remote" is a boring headline, but it would be news. To alter it to one extreme or the other is what we call "fake news", in other words, lies to get you to click.

Cook's quotes for multiple viewpoints enable each media conglomerate to have writers champion their leadership's talking points for this moment in time.

Meanwhile, Apple has one of the world's best 3D office spaces for experiencing and designing the future of augmented-reality workspaces. Would Apple spend years of R&D on ultra-precise location sensing (Ultra Wideband, WiFi6) and 3D-imaging (Lidar, FaceID) to surrender the future of digital workspaces to VR and Zoom?

Remote work is not a catchall. I live in a 400 sq/ft apartment. My ISP charges 250 a month for gigabyte speeds. I have nowhere to go and all outlets for me to work somewhere else are primarily closed. Furthermore, I have just started my career, all those networking opportunities which help you find your next job have been debilitated.

I am sure there is a place for a hybrid option but celebrating remote as the future discourages me to enter the field.

Now you can move somewhere with a bigger apartment with cheap Internet. In-person networking is definitely convenient but, as the other poster says, there are significant virtual communities for software especially that are far better than going to some meetups. Github, Slack & Discord groups, etc.

I like the area I live. Plus I don't want to "move" or need more space. Remote work only offloads the cost of a workplace on the employee.

Buy a larger desk? Check. Buy a better chair? Check. Spend more time working since there is no psychological difference between relax and work time? Check.

I have empathy for your situation, but this argument ignores that I like the area where I live, too. Changing to remote work has a cost/pressure to you, but keeping the status quo has a cost/pressure to me.

Without remote work, there is significant pressure on people like me to move into the city. I live where the mortgage on my 2500 sqft home with a dedicated workspace ($850/mo) probably costs me less than your 400 sqft apartment's rent. I understand that many people who live in downtown apartments don't want to move; pre-COVID, some vacations to New York and to Chicago made me seriously consider moving somewhere downtown to enjoy the energy and opportunity provided by living downtown. But while quarantine with grocery deliveries was probably hellish for you, it was among my favorite seasons of the past few years of my life.

Without remote work, there was significant offloaded cost onto me the employee, to commute to the central workplace, not only financial but also in time. The cost of a very nice office chair is nothing compared to the cost of a driver's seat in a car, and has no comparison to the hours wasted each week on the road.

I have a physical and psychological difference because I have a home office, which I understand is a luxury that a 400 sqft studio doesn't afford. A home office is psychologically better for me than a central office, because my desk at the office was a combination space for my focus work, video/audio conference calls, eating lunch, and relaxing with coworkers.

While working remote, I spend a little more time working, and that more efficiently, but that's because I don't have to waste time on a commute and because I can maintain focus on a task without too many external interruptions when needed.

Like it or not, I think cost of living is about to experience a significant swing over the next few decades. House prices out here are (were) strongly correlated to distance to the highway and from there to the city. Apartment rents in downtown areas are (were) correlated not only to people's desire to live in the big city but also to the cost savings of not needing to own a car and proximity to high-paying jobs. Eventually, things will even out.

This is a very reasonable argument. My point focuses on remote absolutism versus a socially accepted blended model.

Unfortunately, to a large extent, remote work works best in absolution. When companies and teams try to do a blended model, it’s not remote-first, and is almost always worse than absolution one way or the other.

I hope that when governments around the world realise that WFH is going to become the norm for a large number of people they will adjust tax laws to allow write-offs where applicable.

Since April this year in the UK we can get up to £6 per week written off business expenses incurred as a result of WFH.

Of course, they may go the opposite direction to encourage people back into offices so coffee/sandwich shops etc. get more footfall.

I would like my government to discourage urban sprawl and encourage density, even in a world where WFH becomes a larger norm.

I get your predicament, some people like the opportunity to go into the office. Where I have problems with alot of tech companies pre-pandemic is you have a position(engineer etc) that is able to be fully remote, and you are not giving employees the choice to be remote. Forcing people to live in the most expensive area on the planet(silicon valley) for a position that can be done anywhere is inefficient(wasted time commuting) and bad for psyche/environment(stress from commuting, pollution from commuting, stress from high cost of living). The one positive thing from this pandemic is we now get a choice in where we work as tech companies CEO's have had their eyes opened due to being forced to have everyone wfh for over 6 months now.

Oh no you had to buy a chair!

I disagree with this sentiment, depending on where you live not commuting for a few weeks has already paid for all these things. And for many who haven't had to pay rent in the Bay Area for the last 6 months the gains are even more pronounced.

>Spend more time working since there is no psychological difference between relax and work time?

I agree that's an issue but can certainly be mitigated by building good habits around "work" and "not work" time.

> Spend more time working since there is no psychological difference between relax and work time? Check.

Yes. This is unfortunately happening to me now

You're ignoring that most people spend much more money on commuting, clothes for work, and lunch near work then they would spend doing a one time upgrade of their desk and probably eating lunch at home most of the time in t-shirts.

Ironically, commuting to work pushes a lot more of the costs you complain about onto the employee.

I grew up in a city, I have no desire to live in the burbs in the next decade of my life. I suspect that most 20 somethings view it the same way.

Don't worry, that "Those damn kids need to slow down!" mentality will hit you long before you realize you turned into an old fart causing traffic jams during rush hour.

In much of the world, everyone doesn't just move to the suburbs when they age. Look at Japan where the trend has been towards urbanization with immense benefits for society and the environment.

I've been working in the industry for 20 years. I've literally never gotten a job based on someone I knew. I'm sure there's plenty of others who have a different experience, but don't let this get you down.

The demographics of the industry has shifted enormously in the last 20 yeas, with the median years of experience going way down. In an environment flooded with beginners and people who are not established it helps a lot to know people when you are getting started. Also as this dynamic has progressed even further you now see teams of new people being led by people with insufficient experience to really make good hiring decisions. This also makes referrals a bit more important than before.

> I've literally never gotten a job based on someone I knew

The industry is changing for new entrants, and it is considerably different today.

I've never known anyone who got a job on my team because they had a reference, and I am generally doing the hiring. The closest is someone did an internal transfer because of a reference. Never once for an outside hire.

Many tech companies in SF/SV you won't get an interview without a referral as a new grad at least.

Poor job prospects and nightly riots. Avoid these places like the plague.

> Poor job prospects and nightly riots

I hope you don't actually believe that's what's happening in American cities.

So over the span of several months, in a region of approximately 8 million, there have been "dozens of arrests."

There were dozens of arrests on that particular day that the article was written about. There's been several months of such days of fires in the streets and violent protests. I just picked the first 3 articles that came up in a search.

I mean, I live here. That's not true - months of fires in the street?

Plenty of valid reasons to not want to move here. The idea that riots and people setting things on fire is like a serious problem for your day-to-day life? Absurd.

Oh, well as long as it's not impacting you, then I guess it's not a big deal.

I hope this is satire. SF/SV clearly have some of the best paying jobs in the country. And I haven't seen a riot anywhere around here all year.

If you can't get a job without a reference, and you don't have a reference, there's not good job prospects. It doesn't matter how much the jobs pay if they're impossible to get.

50% or more of my company hires people based on reference.

We both got anecdotes going either way.

I appreciate your wisdom. Outlook is bleak for soon to be new-grads so some of my feelings may be a projection of my interview discouragement. Stats still seem to have me worried... "Referrals account for between 30 and 50% of hires in the US...referrals only made up about 6% of total applications, they resulted in more than a quarter of hires. That’s more than the number hired via online job boards, even though those job hunters accounted for 60% of applications and 40% of interviews." [1]

[1] https://outline.com/5L3ezF

Also hitting the 20yr mark and also never got a job via a referral but I imagine at some point in your career it’s no longer necessary and your resume speaks for itself. Nowadays as a fresh entrant I get the impression it’s pretty competitive and a referral can make a huge difference.

I would say it tends to be the opposite.

If you're hiring a twenty-something Java developer, you're sort of hiring a commodity. Sure, you may care about schools, grades, interview, etc. but a lot of your decision is going to be based on their paper. They may not have worked anywhere, so they may not have much of a work record.

However, over time most people acquire a more unique toolbox of skills. In my case, since my first job out of grad school, I've basically been directly hired either by a referral or directly by the owner or a senior exec. My current job didn't even have a job posting for it.

> They may not have worked anywhere, so they may not have much of a work record.

Large tech companies often just don't take chances on people like this anymore.

I've been on the hiring team for the last 15 out of that 20 years. I've literally never had someone join my team who even had a reference. This includes juniors.

20 year as well. Only once did I get a job because I knew someone.

half and half for me. But most programming jobs I've gotten on my own merit.

Here's a fun fact the "It's not what you know, it's who you know" crowd don't understand. You earned those references based on your merit too. Nobody wants to work with a slackass.

Pretty much. It's the high school, non-career jobs I've gotten mainly by connections cause it's mainly labour or service industry. Those jobs don't require a lot of skill. Just show up on time, do the job.

>Remote work is not a catchall. I live in a 400 sq/ft apartment.

But if you work remote, can't you get a bigger apartment (or even a house) out in the suburbs (or other CoL area)?

Many people enjoy living in cities and do not want to move to the suburbs.

Most younger people I know (obviously a biased sample) are strongly anti-suburb

That sucks. I'm sorry.

The only semi-constructive thing I can say is "This too shall pass."

In 1998, at 18 years old, I was literally the boy in the bubble, living in forced isolation for over a year. Atypically, I was also very extroverted.

I was extremely fortunate to have access to dial up modems. So between CompuServe, and starting my own BBS network, I cobbled together a social life and some income publishing my own shareware.

It sucked. But it was also awesome.

Those online relationships were just about the best I've ever had. More like penpals than drinking buddies.

Alas, nothing is permanent, and I was eager to return to the real world.

As for the environmental noise, I'm sure you've investigated noise canceling headphones, white noise machines, and maybe even noise dampening acoustic foam on the walls.

Noise pollution is terrible. Especially if you're sensitive, like my sweetie. I hope you can find a corner in the basement, or open area on the roof, or something. The noise in our prior condo was terrible, driving my sweetie insane. Our neighborhood had gotten popular. So much new construction, new roof top open bar across the street, 3:00am deliveries in alley below our bedroom window, etc. There was literally was no peace.

If you're working remote any way, maybe you can peace out somewhere else. Anywhere with broadband and strong coffee.

Quite the entry into the field I'd say! I appreciate the sentiment. Probably need to stay away from Blind and other headline generator websites.

Depends on what you’re doing I guess. I would not be so defeatist if you’re working in technology.

IRC/Slack/Discord communities are far better than even the best in-person networking event.

There are even job channels on some chat communities. Though the age of the forum is dead.

I have to disagree. IRC/Slack/Discord only add to potential distractions. I have to have my phone near me for two factor auth but plagued by notifications from these communities. Hackathons have been a huge point of my community engagement; however, online hackathons are only a shadow of their in-person counterparts. Not arguing there is not technological enhancement. Think about how many services have had to deploy fully online services that were holdouts from the internet age. My school's club has been able to invite interesting hosts from around the globe because we are already meeting digitally. Remote/online has its strong-suits I just hate how much absolutism there is in these discussions.

Obviously I disagree, but since you got to say your bit- I’d like to rebut.

I run an IRC network, I’ve hired people from my IRC network, you choose your own level of involvement.

(And your own level of notification. I know the default in slack and discord is aggressive and designed to push more engagement but it is configurable)

As it stands there are many people who are absolutely not “distracted” by it, most do not get notifications at all, but usually if you did get a notification it would be because someone said your name explicitly.

Most people tend to read up when they feel like it and respond when they feel like it.

I also don’t like absolutism but the OP sounds absolutely defeated and for no reason other than they seem unaware that these communities exist and in my experience have given me better experiences than in person “networking” meetings.

Unless I’m already friends, meeting people at conferences is often not as valuable as meeting them on IRC.

What you are saying has some truth. Maybe I am not involved in the right communities. I will see what communities are out there and where to find them.

Maybe start your own clubs. I've always been more Groucho Marx than not, eg wouldn't be a member of a club that would have me as a member.

A more positive phrasing: Find your own tribe.

I started a design patterns book study group +25 yo that's still going.

When I was doing activism, I had a hard time fitting in. Politics (and people) suck. So I started a new group.

I've participated in many other groups that were technical, volunteering, political. There's often at least one person that I connect with, making the effort worthwhile.

I think the age of the forum has simply evolved into two extremes. As I see it, forums as basically just a public-facing venue for having threaded discussions.

In that broader sense, we have macro forums on the scale of Reddit, and even Twitter, thought its content format/ui drifts much further way from traditional forums than something like Reddit.

Then on the micro scale we have forums like individual users' Facebook and Facebook communities.

So as with most things internet over the last 15 years, its evolved from having many many small scale offerings, to a very few massive corporations that ate everything else.

> My ISP charges 250 a month for gigabyte speeds

I don't even have the option for "gigabyte speeds" - consider yourself lucky.

Ahh I love oligopolies.

Does your remote work require you to be uploading/downloading very large files?

I am on a 30 mbit connection and both my wife and I remote work. She is on Zoom calls all day long and I stream music and youtube without an issue, while maintaining a latency free remote connection to my desktop in the office.

> all those networking opportunities which help you find your next job have been debilitated.

Well, not all of them. Do your job well while being someone fun to work with. People will remember that, especially the ones in your age group. The people I worked with when I was younger are now in positions where they can let me know about jobs and recommend me for them, and I am in that position too for them.

This situation is not great, but keep moving forward as best as you can.

> Do your job well while being someone fun to work with

“It is not enough that you do your job well, you also need to spend energy to put out an entertaining persona.” is such an Americanism that creates a game theoretic layer of duplicitous characters on top.

There is a difference between being fun to work with and being entertaining. Maybe I should have worded it, “be a joy to work with.” Some people are a pleasure to work with, even if they are quiet and shy.

Still sounds like some servile function to evoke positive emotions in others is required. Why doing our jobs is not enough? If everyone is doing their jobs, wouldn’t that be “fun” enough? If not, shouldn’t that be a problem with the job description?

This is important because whenever the boundaries are poorly defined, there is room for narcissistic abuse, even if self-inflicted. “Be a joy to work with” could have so many failure modes; the guy who brings up inconvenient truths could be penalized, the useless people pleasers can get ahead. The idea could work to Marie Kondo one’s clothes, but I feel like standards should be different for humans.

I think you are reading way too much into this. There are ways to bring up inconvenient truths without being an asshole, and there are ways to be a pleasure to work with without pandering. People who don't see this are actually the ones that people don't enjoy working with.

Well you’ve suggested this ideal of “being fun to work with” and you’re challenged to clarify your position, no need to get defensive. “There are ways to be a pleasure to work with without pandering” I’m sure of that but work by nature includes competitive or opponent processes too (eg code reviews, design reviews, performance reviews), how does the nice guy handle those? To me it sounds like your ideal of being nice could end up causing not getting what one wants or not having one’s job properly (eg not pushing back sufficiently in a code review).

Niceness is a tricky metric to go by in a work environment, adults disagree, and work is not always fun.

Honestly, people who view reviews as competition are exactly the people I don't enjoy working with. Those people are always the ones who view any criticism as a slight rather than an opportunity to improve, and it will always show in their work.

On the flip side, if the critic can't express their criticisms without being an asshole, well then of course people aren't going to like working with them.

I agree that reviews being seen as a competition is a problem, but it is nonetheless the same problem if you don't see it that way while people around you do. Promotions, compensation etc they are not exactly zero-sum games but they do approximate zero-sum dynamics, so they are a competition whether we like it or not.

I think the asshole persona is a useful device to think through this problem, but I think you are overemphasizing it and ignoring other personas. You can express criticisms with perfect tact and you still will encounter people that has a problem with being challenged (it is rather common with newly promoted technical leads or managers), or like I said a healthy code review will require saying "no" at times, with no fault of the reviewer, will still generate adversarial dynamics.

And let's be realistic, performance reviews are highly biased towards positive feedback because criticisms look harsher on that format than they are so people hold back therefore I don't see "asshole" dynamics as frequent as you are focusing, if anything "niceness" dynamics is incentivizing dishonesty in peer feedback.

I don't know how far you are into your career, but think about the people you have worked with that you would like to work with again. Then, think about the people you would avoid working with again at all costs.

Now, think about the people you would hire to work for you, and the people you wouldn't even give an interview to.

The people you don't enjoy working with - what side of the equation do they fall on? Some of them will be because they are incompetent, and some of them will be because they are terrible people.

Now what about about the people you did enjoy working with? What side of the equation are they on? Some of them will be because they were great at their jobs and some of them will be cause they are great people. I'm willing to bet that the vast majority are both competent and people that you enjoy being around. I'm also willing to bet that the people you would be happy to work with again, are genuine in the way they treat other people. The "Fake Niceness" is easy to sniff out.

As always, YMMV.

I'm sure most companies will be some degree of hybrid and keep their offices. That said, I expect you'll see a lot more flexibility with people coming in just some of the time, probably a lot of hot-desking, and probably less general reliance on always getting together physically.

Something like remote work is guaranteed to be both good and bad for different people. If this is genuinely the direction we're going, there will be casualties. Lots of them.

I fully expect there will be companies that go back to mostly in-office. And most companies will continue to have an office that people at least can go into.

But, what's also almost certainly true, is that different companies and different teams within companies will have vastly different emphasis on in person vs. remote. If you're someone who can't wait to go back into an office pretty much full-time and want to work with others who feel similarly, a lot of companies may not be right for you going forward--given that a mix of remote and in-person pretty much needs to work as if everyone were remote.

Compared to non-essential fields that are in-person, we are incredibly lucky that computational tasks can be done remotely. It may stink that remote lacks in-person networking, but at least our jobs and salaries continue coming in, unlike dozens of other professions. A lot of "essential" in-person professions never got any hazard pay either, they just took on more inefficiency and more risk for the same pay.

Consider that it took a pandemic to get many SV companies to consider this. Forget employees advocating for it or workplace research, some external event had to force their hand first.

HN has this bizarre obsession with remote work having anything to do with what's best for the employee. When in the history of office space have decisions ever been made because upper management thought "oh the employees will really like this!"?

In one generation we've gone from everyone has an office with a door (even Homer Simpson has one!), to cube farms, to open offices. I've seen all of these and don't recall a single transition where employees thought "this is great!"

The pandemic has made corporate leadership realize that people will continue to work and produce things no matter what, even if their kids are pulling on their arm all day, because they need to work to live.

Additionally the benefits to corporations are obvious, reduced real estate is the just the tip of the iceberg. We've already seen companies can start thinking about reducing salaries based on location (which I can assure you will eventually translate to reduced salaries everywhere, why pay a premium for someone to live in SF 3 years from now?), the talent pool is now nation wide (and soon global) which will again reduce salaries. It's much easier to identify people who were just taking up space in the office and remove them. With no offices corporate travel becomes completely unnecessary etc.

None of these advantages have anything to do with whether or not employees are happier, or even more productive.

> anything to do with what's best for the employee

If open offices taught us anything, employers seem to be obsessed with finding what's the absolute worst for the employee, their productivity, the company, the stock price and the quality of the output.

An exogenous shock is almost alwyas needed. It provides energy for a system to move into a new equilibrium.

I am guessing many didn’t want to be an early mover on such a paradigm shift.

Yeah, it's not even unreasonable that many companies were resistant to conduct a disruptive experiment on their own volition.

The whole point is that it wasn't disruptive and even turned out better.

Also it's not merely an "experiment", we're talking about peoples' lives here. People aren't just fungible resources to be commanded and lorded over like chattel. Workers have been fighting for the freedom to work remotely for decades now, and it's sad that it takes a pandemic for employers to start respecting their employees enough to allow them the basic freedom of not being chained to their open office desks like zoo animals.

> "The whole point is that it wasn't disruptive and even turned out better."

Turned out better for you, maybe, but not for everyone. There are plenty of people here on HN, including myself, who have said that they want to go back to the office, either full time or part time.

Apple Park cost $5 billion and took over a decade to design a build. I'd call that a lot more disruptive than experimenting with WFH.

Building a new campus on the site of an existing tech company campus in the same city you're already located doesn't seem like a particularly risky experiment even if it cost a bunch of money.

What is risk, besides time and money?

Disrupting the business. Which at some level translates into time and money I guess but it seems different from "We handed over a bunch of money for something that it turns out we maybe didn't need." (Though Apple has tons of leased real estate in the Bay Area so I'm pretty sure they'll continue to find plenty of use for the campus.)

I don't think they just handed over money though. It was said that Apple Park was a singular focus of Jony Ive. It's difficult to find something more disruptive to Apple than taking away their head of design from the focusing on customer products.

Yahoo was doing this way back in 2013 and Marissa Mayer banned it because it wasn’t working. What has changed since then apart from the pandemic? I expect most companies to go back to office work after the pandemic, for the same reasons why they were not doing much remote work before. In Apple’s case, IP theft is likely to be the trigger.

"Wasn't working" based on what data?

Yahoo was already down the drain at that point. Sounds like it was more about blaming the workers (and trying to shake things up) than anything else

Though to be fair, video conferencing systems at the time weren't great

> Yahoo was doing this way back in 2013 and Marissa Mayer banned it because it wasn’t working.

I've never seen anyone make the claim that Mayer banned it because 'it wasn't working'. That's quite a revisionist history take.

Are you suggesting Yahoo getting rid of WFH wasn't an effort to boost employee performance? Or just objecting to the idea that "it wasn't working" suggests absolute performance was poor? Rereading the announcement memo[0], it seems pretty clear that the change flowed from a belief that being physically present would yield better work outcomes:

"Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together."

[0] http://allthingsd.com/20130222/physically-together-heres-the...

I wouldn't discount the possibility that this was a case of mistaken causation instead of correlation, and some kind of hail Mary pass. "Yahoo isn't doing great work, a lot of people work from home, it must be because they are working from home."

Mayer's tenure at Yahoo wasn't exactly a great success...

Hopefully this will push the internal influencers to actually care about remote tools.

The latency on videoconferencing still needs to be reduced. A ping between SF and NYC is around 62ms?

But with all of the half-interruptions, the interjections of "you go" - "oops, no wait, you go ahead", it feels like a good 300ms of latency.

The conversations do not feel natural at all.

John Carmack was speaking about this the other day in his Oculus talk.

I don't know. This sort of thing happens during in-person meetings too, to an extant. Then again, all of my calls are in the same geographic area.

I think there's some subtleties that are taken for granted with a face-to-face conversation that simply become awkward when engaging in a remote conversion with latency.

With face-to-face I can avoid a majority of the interruptions because I can notice a slight change of a facial expression, e.g. a mouth slightly opening, eyes lighting up, that alludes to them beginning to speak.

But with a remote conversation, that noticing of expression suffers from the same latency issues as audio, so I'm reading the emotional cue way too late.

It gets easier. I’ve been working remotely for a decade, and eventual you learn to communicate differently to mostly avoid these issues.

Agree. I’ve been working remotely for the past five years. It can definitely be done.

But I’d prefer an in person conversation any day vs the CB Radio-like feel of today’s conferencing.

I don’t want to throttle my thoughts. I want quick successions of comments going back and forth.

Simply not the experience right now with videoconferencing.

I usually don’t have to throttle my thoughts with video conferencing unless there are more than 1 or 2 other people on the conference. But when there are more than 3 people in a conference room, I have to throttle my thoughts there as well.

I'm still amazed that current video conference doesn't have a "wait to signal" on the UI.

Video conf people, if you're reading this:

  Study what's the regular "wait to talk time" for a face to face conversation - let's assume 250 ms. 
  Measure audio/video latency (from remote capture, encoding, transmission, display) - let's assume 100ms. 
  Add a listening progress bar to video that's filled when someone else speaks un-fills when 250 + 100 ms has passed.
  Add a speaking progress bar that fills when when the person speaks and un-fills when 250 ms has passed.
It's not great or polished idea but I have no idea why this doesn't exist yet. We need a visual indicator when to talk on video conference because our human metrics are not calibrated for it.

Shouldn't it be 250 - 100 ms (rather than plus)? The person who was talking is silent for that extra 100ms while they wait for their words to reach their peer.

Maybe, I'm not completely clear on this could work.

What I imagine is that when I'm listening I need to wait the regular wait time plus network lag because the speaker may have resume speaking. The speaker needs to resume speaking before 250 + 100 has passed so that others don't start talking before the speaker resumes.

I wish people would just use text more instead. I agree that video conferencing calls are hard and people overlap a lot - but the bigger issue is that most of what people say in meetings is pointless! Maybe it’s just me, but I find it impossible to think in conversation, and most of what I end up saying is “um - what about - oh, never mind, won’t work.” Especially with tech problems, I need time and silence to figure it out. I wish people would propose the thing to be solved on a chat thread, tag the people involved, and trust them to engage without being forced to do it real-time.

I think this will be the unpopular opinion, but writing, text, is actually the problem.

Most emails/tweets/texts read like statements of proclamation.

The cues of a "hmmmm" or the rise in pitch in voice, can indicate someone isn't sure of the position. Or that they're pitching it as a possibility, not the actual solution.

All of those cues are lost. Twitter is the worst offender - I've seen many of people that I follow present in person at conferences and they come off as humble and approachable.

But their tweets are written as a bold, definitive statements, and read as a proclamation to be argued and challenged.

I see your point, but I personally hate the time wasted on phatic meandering like “... unless anyone disagrees”, “hmm, what if...” etc. I’d much rather people concisely said things they were quite sure of. Plus, it’s hard to disagree with people in person. I don’t have all the facts to hand, and I can’t double-check my phrasing. Text solves all of that for me.

I can see where the CEO would be momentarily impressed. Think of the savings on that office space. Offloading that onto the employee is great for the company. Sure, some employees might also benefit greatly from the elimination of their commute, but a lot of people also have no real space at home for any kind of proper work environment. Our living spaces would need to evolve if remote work is to become really common.

Someone here on HN nailed it last week, IMO, when they suggested that we only see a real benefit to remote work right now because it amounts to quiet time to get things done that we already knew needed to be done. The real test is how we are doing in a year. If my experience at a mid-size corporation is any indicator, it could get kinda ugly. We're surviving, but I don't feel at all like we are excelling. We spend half or more of every day in one Zoom call or another, trying desperately to make up for the lack of face-to-face time we just naturally had at the office. Some of our employees are clearly suffering mentally (especially the folks who live alone), and management hasn't really figured out how to manage in this brave new world.

I'm hoping for a hybrid solution to emerge. I want to go back to the office. Maybe two days a week. And when I'm remote, no f*cking Zoom meetings. Death by a million meetings is torture.

This hits the nail on the head, IMO. Remote work increases the cost of communication. That's _wonderful_ for getting defined tasks complete, but _terrible_ for collaborative/unstructured problem-solving.

I'm also seeing juniors really struggle - when your biggest challenge is getting traction, communication barriers are just so hard to overcome.

If you're the Treasurer of Cupertino, this cannot be a fun thing to hear about.

I’m working on a pet theory that the pandemic will cause a brief period of reverse urbanization. These happen sometimes, such as UK during WW2. Long term cities are still a good bet as urbanization has been happening as long as we have recorded history.

I have some small hope that the cross pollination out of major urban centers will help reduce some of the urban/rural/liberal/conservative polarization. Fingers crossed.

I hope for this too, less in terms of politics but in terms of spreading the country's wealth more evenly from the coasts to the middle of the country. But same general idea.

It was also true in the US. Many major cities were losing population from post-WWII until about the late 1990s. (So not that brief.)

Actual cities downtown were losing, but the metro areas were not. This was (mostly white) flight to suburbs, but this was still people living in urban areas rather than the country side.

Now that the suburbs are all built out and getting more expensive, I doubt the same phenomena can happen. There's a limit how far you can go to stay close to the metro area.

True. Although most metros (SV being somewhat of an exception) you get 60-90 minutes out of the downtown and there is much cheaper housing available. (And many of the offices aren't even in the downtown anyway.)

I live a (non-rush hour) hour from Boston which I still consider "close" to the metro in that I can drive in for the evening and have even commuted in--admittedly a long commute. But I'm in a small semi-rural town. It's not true rural cheap but it's a lot less expensive than actually in the city or close-in suburbs.

Yeah, but if you don't need to commute regularly, which widely available high speed internet makes possible, you can push out a good bit further.

It already is happening. It will probably take at least 2 years to "return to normalcy" so depending on your definition of brief it's come true.

Consider the tourism all those empty offices could bring.

Imagine the retrofit housing possibilities of the Apple UFO. It could be a self contained city.

A cyberpunk Kowloon walled city in the ring sounds cool. But consider that Cupertino has fought tooth and nail to prevent an abandoned shopping mall from being converted into legit housing. Seems unlikely that they would go for it.

I think there might be permanent changes, but I also still see a useful role for in-person meetings even for primarily remote employees. I'll 1) give an example of why I think this useful and 2) the the type of meeting I think would make sense for this purpose:

1) My group has been all remote since March. In June, we got a new boss, and we've been meeting remotely, phone conversations, etc. It worked out find. But then in August my boss needed to drop something off at my home. She came to my house, mask on, and gave me the technical documents I needed, and then we stood outside for about half an hour just talking, about family, kids, work, whatever. This meeting transformed my sense of our working relationship. A person who had been a face on a screen suddenly felt much more real, much more like a living breathing person. Of course I knew they were "real" before, but that brief in-person meeting really made a difference.

2) Normal meetings are not the appropriate format for something like. I think they should be more social, less structured in nature. Perhaps something like a once-monthly extended lunch-meeting that would just be a free flowing discussion of active projects, no agenda, just lunch & discussion. If things veer off of work topics, so be it. If the remote workers are really scattered, it could be done once every 6 months or so.

I recognize that there are personalities that don't need/want/benefit much from this sort of interaction. In those circumstances, their physical presence at meetings like this might not do anything for them, but it's a two-way interaction, and that could still be beneficial for the people they meet, if not for them.

My company is fully remote and has been since before the pandemic. Our weekly team meetings alternate between actual meetings and hangouts, where we have no agenda and just catch up. We also do a fun group event every Friday (usually gaming since we're a board game manufacturer).

As companies transition to remote work on a more permanent basis, the most successful ones will develop strategies like these to foster a healthy culture in a remote environment.

Would be nice if most software engineering roles at Apple weren't forced to work in US. For those without degrees it's rather hard to get a US Visa.

That would be nice, but these are ultimately US based and US lead companies. Moving work into other countries does create complications, especially with the West coast only having a workday overlap of a few hours (at best) with Europe. That really has a non-trivial impact on productivity and decision making latency.

In my experience, real-time collaboration between US East Coast and Europe works pretty well. One of my roles involves a lot of calls with Central Europe and sometimes I (US East Coast) am on calls a bit earlier than I'd ideally like and Europe may end up going past 5 sometimes, but it's not really a problem. Add 3 more hours to the difference and it gets harder.

Yes 100%. East coast - UK/Europe collaboration is much easier than West coast. Frequent meetings between Europe and SV mean someone is staying late or coming in early on a regular basis. In the worst case the transatlantic bandwidth can be 2 emails a day.

I am on the West Coast and regularly do calls with India since we added teams there. 12.5 hours difference is absolutely awful and has me wanting to quit my job or at least move to a team that isn't so far apart. The number of times I've had to wake up early or cancel dinner plans is super disruptive and has crushed my work life balance since there is no clear time when the workday starts an ends.

I’ll never do calls with India again. For some reason, the India team we had to work with refused to have a meeting at any other time than 3am west coast. Absolutely insane. Eventually, I just skipped the meetings - told them it wasn’t worth my time and to write better emails.

I remember when everyone said remote work as the default was impossible but then it happened and now it's as if it was the same and rational option all the time...

Ah well remote work where everyone is co-located is very different to remote work where the people are 8 timezones away. Synchronous communication will always be hard between teams so far apart.

I'm assuming you don't work with physical devices? My company averages about 1/4 of the people in the office because it's just impossible to work on certain aspects of physical bringup entirely remote for a variety of reasons (space, tool access, multiple people working on one prototype, etc etc).

Not everyone gets to work with purely digital products.

Not sure we can make that claim yet, it's only been a few months. We still have that residual in office-culture, things might be different when the majority of the office has turned over since remote work became a thing.

My assumption is that many remote workers will still live within driving radius of an office and will get together semi-regularly. And that those who do not will still fly for on site meetings of some sort on a regular basis.

Kinda defeats the point of working remotely, imo. Sounds more like a WFH option twice a week type of workplace. Which isn’t really remote, IMO.

It depends. I could live anywhere I want in the US now. As it happens, I do live fairly near a couple of our offices and could (normally) go in regularly--and used to go in more. But I'm perfectly happy where I live.

But, yes, if you live in SV only because some large tech company pays you a bunch of money to live there and they want you to stay in a radius that lets you come in once or twice a week, you don't have the option of moving anywhere you want. (Though you may have the option of moving somewhere that's OK for a once-a-week drive but not daily.)

I know several Apple employees who have been fighting to be allowed to move from Cupertino to Vancouver, without success.

Sounds like a problem for them specifically. Apple lists jobs in Vancouver.

When I last had a 'man inside', the Vancouver office was only for a specific (set of?) teams. That may have changed in the last couple of years.

If they really want that, they should just get a job in Vancouver with a different employer.

They probably will, but they're pursing the less-disruptive option first.

It would be a benefit to have dev teams in the Toronto/NYC time zone.

We’ve worked with the Cupertino devs since the start of Apple News and there’s a bit of a disconnect there because of the time difference. Apple has had other teams here but few devs. (In Toronto anyway)

If you mean "most" as in more than 50% then you are probably correct, but there are a ton of Apple engineering roles across the world. When I was at Apple I worked as an engineer in two different continents and both offices were always growing. For example, I know Singapore has been growing steadily the past few years (https://www.apple.com/jobs/sg/). Where are you not seeing engineering positions?

Last fall I investigated working at Apple because of their supposed new openness to remote work in Eddy Cue's organization. After talking to a couple principal engineers it was revealed that since I was currently bay area based I would be expected to be in the office 3-5 days a week, so no they weren't remote. I wrote it off because I am not interested in spending 20-30 hours a week commuting for any job.

A few months later, post the start of COVID, I heard that they were now really remote. I re-engaged and again inquired. It turned out that the job was only remote until COVID was over, again, after COVID they would want in-person presence in the office 3-5 days a week. This despite the team being globally distributed. Again I declined to pursue.

Then I started to see tweets advertising remote positions in the same group. I was asked on twitter by a former co-worker who works in the same overall organization if I was interested and I explained that I had already investigated and the lack of ability to work remote was a non-starter. He encouraged me to investigate again with his reference. The result was the same as before, London or Cupertino. Being truly remote or WFH in the bay area would only work until COVID was over. 1-2 weeks a quarter in the office was insufficient. I declined to pursue. Even the former co-worker was surprised that they weren't more flexible.

I am not sure what the problem is at Apple. They have had issues with remote work for a long time. I recall one incident where they fired a firmware engineer working on the CHRP Macs because he had to move to Montana (spousal or family reasons) and in the process really screwed themselves. A significant part of the CHRP project delays were because they blew a hole in their own firmware team. There had been a couple of people I knew working remote at the time Steve returned to Apple. All of them were let go if they didn't return to Cupertino. This had been a problem even before Steve's return though. Some of it is their silo "super sekrit" culture. It doesn't seem to have changed over the years.

In the end, Apple is entitled to have whatever culture they want. I have been a remote WFH since 1997. Unless I can walk to the office in 10-15 minutes I am never going to commute for anyone. That pretty much rules out ever working for Apple.

> Last fall I investigated working at Apple because of their supposed new openness to remote work in Eddy Cue's organization. After talking to a couple principal engineers it was revealed that since I was currently bay area based I would be expected to be in the office 3-5 days a week, so no they weren't remote. I wrote it off because I am not interested in spending 20-30 hours a week commuting for any job.

Why do you need to specify where you live besides time zone or maybe State (for tax purposes)?

If you're upfront with only wanting a remote only job - I don't get why they would even bother with interacting with you.

I don't expect many companies in SV to allow permanent remote after COVID is over. Too many higher ups require the image of asses in seats to justify their position.

I read PG's "what the bubble got right" when it came out. It made an impression.

Some parts were wrong, and some were right in retrospect. Regardless, what struck me was was the "right, but early" pattern. Around the time Paul was writing that essay, large scale "IT outsourcing" and "work from anywhere" were starting to become the standard prediction.

Neither quite progressed as promised. Outsourcing reached a point and then receded into niches. Remote work seemed to hit a wall and be rolled back circa 2013. Marissa Mayer had her much-commented decisions. etc.

Now, in 2020, where are we?

Ultimately, the dynamic effects of massive work-from home will be big. A remote organisation is fundamentally different. It's not just how you work. It's who works, and what work they do. Both may ultimately change a lot if this really does snowball.

Globalizing labour, if that's where we're headed is a watershed.

I’d imagine it will be easy for non-engineering roles to be moved to permanent remote. This also opens up the door to move these positions to low CoL areas and improve diversity hiring.

However, I suspect engineering for the most part will remain primarily onsite. Apple has a big secretive factor that probably keeps many things onsite.

Probably good news for startups that are not remote-based. They will have a competitive advantage.

Why is that? the whole idea is that remote isn't as bad as we thought it is.

Not as bad as we thought, but an in-person team is still more agile, faster and better at onboarding/integrating new people. So I think they'll have that kind of advantage in the coming years over incumbents that transitioned to remote permanently.

I hope that this is not too far off topic: for companies like Apple, having mostly at-home work allows much more social distancing for people who need to be in the office for important meetings, dealing with physical equipment, etc.

A hybrid approach that is fluid makes sense.

People should desire a hybrid solution. Working from home is great but there's so many benefits to going to a workplace and sharing resources instead of every worker needing to recreate their own home office. Somethings just don't make sense.

Tech CEOs discovering Remote work is like the CEO of VW saying "ha, this is better than a horse".

Maybe that spaceship campus investment wasn't such a good idea.

That campus houses maybe 12k people. Apple has well over 2x that amount of workers in the sunnyvale/cupertino area alone.

I never understood why the building isn't bigger and houses so little of their work force.

Likely limitations from the city for development on that property. I worked at a place (not in California) that was limited to X number of people in their campus due to parking requirements; the city forced the company to offload employees to another location when they went way over the limit.

And what makes it worse is that particular part of SV is a public transit black hole. When I worked at Apple, they did a great job of providing their own commute-time transit options. However, if you needed to travel to or from the Apple campus in the middle of the day, you had to either drive to work that day or be willing to spend a lot of time on a bus, particularly if you're going somewhere on the peninsula. On the one or two occasions I fell ill enough to want to go home in the middle of the day, I really should have called a cab to take me to the Caltrain station instead of taking a bus that seemed to take a tour through every neighborhood.

Usage has all sorts of impacts - for example, the road utilization for commuting needs is a big deal for local traffic.

I'm always impressed with America parking requirements. Public transport looks like an alien concept.

It’s not an alien concept.

It’s that the Bay Area is extremely low density compared to other comparable population centers such as New York, London, or you-name-the-city.

It’s just not practical to use conventional forms such as busses and light rail, and this is partly why Uber and Lyft had the leverage to force the state to back down over classifying workers as employees.

Bay area has plenty of density. What it lacks is the ability to get enough momentum that transit works. If we waved a magic wand and suddenly there was a great system (trains, buses...) running around routes that are not hard to design they could have in total lower costs for most people who no longer need to pay for a car.

Even if you waved that magic wand, beware that it will take two years to even have more than a trivial increase in ridership - trivial - not enough to make it wroth the investment. In 20 years you will see a difference, but who can wait 20 years? And this is a full system up and running at once - in the real world things go incrementally which means it is years before the system can even take you enough of the places you want to go fast enough that you would consider selling the car.

Which is why transport is hard to add. It takes upfront investment and then years of hoping people change their living style.

Though I will point out that if California had any notion of cost control they could have their current high speed rail idea actually running the full route. I'm not sure where the problem is but I know by best in world standards they are spending something like 4x as much as it costs. This only makes it harder for any system to get started and self-reinforces the idea that the bay area doesn't have enough density.

To summarize - you believe I’m wrong about my statement about density, and that the cause of poor public transport is wrongheadedness, poor financial management, and short term thinking.

You assert that these attitudinal qualities cause a false perception of inadequate density.

I don’t dispute the attitudes you describe, but I assert that the causality is the other way around.

Individual Bay Area cities - e.g. Mountain View, SF, Oakland. Have plenty of density - comparable with other major cities.

They also actually do have reasonable public transport internally.

The region taken as a whole doesn’t. This is a function of density.

The distance between north and south suburbs of london is about 15-20 miles and can be traversed in about 1 hr - 1 hr 15 minutes by either car or tube.

The shortest route between say, downtown Oakland and the Apple Campus is about 50 miles. It can be traversed on the freeway during low traffic in about 50 minutes. By public transport it’s 2 hrs 47.

That’s because you have to go around the bay. Not because the transport system doesn’t exist.

> cause of poor public transport is wrongheadedness, poor financial management, and short term thinking.

No, not at all. Getting there is HARD HARD HARD. it would be a bad move to go all at once. However not going all at once is a recipe for failure.

The region has the density to make such a system work. What is lacking is political willingness to make it happen. Caltran runs a poor schedule that only commuters have a chance of finding useful (you still need a car for everything else), BART is a little better, but both ought to be able to do trains every 10 minutes or less all day - this is something every transit advocate has said for years. If the core can't do every 5 minutes, then the rest of the system will fail because it is too much effort to look up the schedule.

How do cars get around the bay in 50 minutes? I'm going to guess a bridge across. There is no reason you can't build a bridge for transit - in fact for the amount of people carried a transit bridge is cheaper than a car bridge. One full bus every 3 minutes is more humans moved than the maximum amount of cars that same lane can move, leaving plenty of room for more buses, thus your bus bridge is much cheaper than a car bridge because only two lanes are needed. (trains are even better)

Poor financial management doesn't help the cause, but the real problem is poor operations on the systems you already have. Fix that and results will show (a little - but remember you will need to accept low ridership on the 2am trains that you need to run anyway just because 2am is assurance that you can always get back home)

You say ‘not at all’ but then go on to seem to confirm my point about short term thinking.

Also, no bridge is involved in the 50 minute route. It’s actually quite a straight path.

The difference is that the distance is far because of the low density and the car doesn’t have to stop the way public transport does.

As the distance goes up, the time penalty for stops becomes magnified.

Transit should be able to get there faster then. Trains can safely go 150mph. Of course this means careful plans so the local transit gets to the fast train just in time, then the fast train only makes a few stops.

The above is commonly done in the world.

150 mile an hour trains are commonly inter-city.

There are no examples in the world of them being used within cities.

I could imagine a high speed loop of some kind around the entire 100 mile bay, with say 10 stops.

A 50 mile segment would take 33 minutes at 150 miles an hour with no stops, but there would be 5 stops in this case. It takes multiple miles to reach 150 mph and multiple miles to slow back down from that speed, plus a typically mandated doors open time of 30 seconds. We can easily estimate an additional 2-3 minutes per stop.

So high speed train portion would alone be in the order of 40-45 minutes.

That leaves 3 legs unaccounted for - getting to and from the high speed terminal at each end, and walking to and from the local transit. Given wait times and walking it would be generous to call those 15 minutes each.

That takes us to 1hr 15. The train cannot get you there faster than the car, unless you live next to the terminal and your destination is next to the terminal.

This is in the situation where we build a completely new kind of local train that accelerated to 150 mph between stops.

Musk’s hyper loop might do it. But no hyperloop has ever been put into production yet.

This shows that the problem is density and lack of available technology, and not anything to do with bad management.

Redundancy could be another reason.

Eh, it's just 5 billion dollars. Chump change for apple.

It's going to act as a prestige building.

I have mentioned it before and pretty much its an issue many have seen before, some executives take far too much pride in their real estate to the point it can negatively impact their employees and the communities they are in. Apple's in particular really came off as one of the most audacious expressions of corporate ego in years. Everything about it seemed to be them screaming "we are so much better than you". From bragging about glass work to the damn chairs in the building. It was just so odd.

The employee impact is real in that these same executives and managers are loathe to see their pride and joy empty. even my work place shocked a lot of people with a declaration that anyone looking to continue remote work post pandemic will need VP approval for three days a week; as in they don't even want to consider full remote and the previous two days with permission is being clawed back. the biggest boon for many in my work for WFH has been the severe reduction in meetings.

what it tells me is that if their claims of everyone is doing so well remotely is that perhaps they feel threatened that they don't need to exercise on hand control for work to be done, as in they themselves might be more redundant than they want to admit to.

> From bragging about glass work to the damn chairs in the building. It was just so odd.

It's a symbolic embodiment of their products' build quality, attention to detail, design-lead ethos and green credentials.

It also provides a place for some people to work.

>even my work place shocked a lot of people with a declaration that anyone looking to continue remote work post pandemic will need VP approval for three days a week

Soemthing tells me that if your competitors start offering 3 days a week remote work and people start taking them up on that offer, your company will change their stance mighty quick.

>they themselves might be more redundant than they want to admit to.

I really expect there to be a look across all businesses at mid level management. C-suite will save themselves, but people downstream won't be able to.

I only found it odd in that everything about the office seemed incredibly unappealing to me in terms of working there. Seemed to focus on things that employees don't really care about.

Having companies brag about their offices in order to attract talent, after all employees will spend 40-80 hours a week of their life there, is not that weird to me.

sure, but that doesn't mean the things they brad about will attract me.

Of course my degree is in human/machine interaction. I automatically look past pretty and see how awful some buildings are for actual use. I'm weird that way.

Also the Austin campus that just broke ground last year.

They’ve been expanding in Austin and broke ground on new expansions last year.

They’ve been in Austin for a long time though. It’s mostly right now support services like AppleCare running out of that campus

The main developer/engineering hub is still Cupertino and Santa Clara though

Depends on what Cupertino and the state had to offer tax wise. Securing a new campus meant decades of Apple employment.

iCampus Hotel is the next apple product.

And yet most Bay Area techies continue to discuss these trends as something that could happen but probably won't

The train left the station years ago, Google seems to be the only company doubling-down on Commercial Real Estate in the Bay Area and they will surely also soon start to backpedal...what demand is there for their San Jose megacampus? This in addition to buying up old Cisco properties, Moffett Field, other new construction, and now the proposal of yet-another "company town" in Mountain View? Someone needs to have a talk with whoever there thinks Commercial Real Estate is a good hedge in 2020.

Google plans far beyond 2020, and far beyond this pandemic. Further, these deals were closed long before this year.

Work culture will change for sure, and the layout and form that commercial real estate takes will change too, but it’s far too early to say that the space they’re getting is not worth the investment.

Will that Apple CEO see to upgrading the front facing cameras in their devices? It would be nice to have something better than potato quality video.

Johny Ivy will go crazy trying to build little TouchID offices for everyone in the remote work force.

Didn't he quit a while ago?

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact