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Apple employees say the company is cracking down on remote work (theverge.com)
86 points by ksec 68 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 95 comments



I understand why people would prefer working at home vs. Apple Park's open plan. In addition to reasons such as reducing commute headaches, flexibility in taking care of children, ability to take naps as needed, etc., people may find working at home to be simply more productive than working in the office, perhaps due in part to improved privacy and reduced distraction and interruptions from co-workers and bosses compared with open plan office spaces.

Probably employees should start looking at remote work options outside of Apple. One benefit of moving to another company is that you usually get a much larger raise compared to what you would get if you stayed at the same company.

And Apple (and other companies) should examine why people don't want to come in to the office in the first place. It might not actually be because employees want to slack off and avoid doing any work. (And bosses seem to conflate butts in chairs with productivity, but it's usually more about being able to monitor employees and having an enjoyable sense of superiority, control and ownership over them.)

Since more people want to work at home, Apple might be also be able to modify its office space to provide improved privacy and visual/sound isolation. Ideally they could add more walled offices for rank-and-file employees to provide real privacy and destroy the idea of walled offices as a social status symbol reserved for managers.


Sometimes I think the cracking down on remote companies/edict is because it "helps prove" how wanting a person wishes to work at the company. Knowing an employee's loyalty and willingness to put up with BS makes it easier for other abuses in the future.


This is a profound thought. It should be taken more seriously.

It’s two-fold. I also think it’s a test how loyal an employee is to the company, especially how Apple thinks. “Those who want to leave can leave.” The problem is that some real talent can be lost with this approach.

Second, those who stay might not actually be treated like the loyal employees they are supposed to be treated as, especially not by all tiers of management. They might be treated as those who were desperate to stay to keep their job and treated as such.


The newly gained experience of widespread working at home could be applied in creative, constructive ways:

For example, offices could be changed to provide some of the benefits of home. Napping could become normalized, for example. More child care facilities could be provided. What else?

Hours could be adjusted, so parents are home when their kids return from school: Instead of distributing hours in full days at the office or home, how about being at the office 5-6 hours/day and at home the rest?

Hours could be more flexible, normalizing people running errands and doing other things during the day.

Dress codes? Pajama Fridays? What else?

EDIT: This HN thread and many others are filled with arguments for working from home. It's a hot topic and you can find them all elsewhere. Here I'm asking a different question: How can offices be improved based on what we've learned?


None of this addresses the reasons that I and, I think, most others prefer remote work.

I don’t want to miss watching my kids grow up because by the time I drive home they’re already in bed. I want to spend my lunch hour with my family, instead of gossiping with my coworkers about office politics. I want to raise my children in a community of my choosing, surrounded by close friends and family, instead of the SFBA, which I have no connection to and frankly hate. I don’t want to waste literal years of my life commuting, which is consistently shown to be the least happy part of people’s day.


It's amazing to me that this many obvious things need to be explained. People really are slaves to their jobs.


Whenever I think like that, it usually turns out that it wasn't so obvious because I am the one missing something.


> I don’t want to waste literal years of my life commuting, which is consistently shown to be the least happy part of people’s day.

The median commute result in nearly 10 full days of driving each year, equivalent to about 30 full work days a year. Depending on the location, the local median can go as high as 14 full days, or 42 work days, of driving a year. Commutes are responsible for a 9.91% drop in hourly wages, as well[1].

[1] https://go.frontier.com/business/commute-calculator


So how can we solve that problem, besides the extreme of not going to work?


Remote work seems like one way to address this.

Another way is to organize with your coworkers and either negotiate for commute compensation, or negotiate a wage that allows you to live close enough to work that you aren't spending a month of workdays a year simply driving to and from your job.

Addressing the 40 hour work week could help allievate this problem, as well. Productivity in the US keeps reaching new highs and yet workers are still expected to work the same amount of hours as they did in the past, and their compensation hasn't increased with those productivity increases.


I think we're making it a purely political issue about demands, and not being creative on the technical side.

For example, we could use remote work to reduce commute time. People can work remotely when transportation is slow, daily during rush hour, or when there is bad weather, construction, or otherwise. Combine that with four days at the office, and total annual commute time might be reduced 50% (as a wild guess: 20% less from 20% fewer days at the office, 30% from avoiding slow transportation).

Or, because we know people work effectively remotely, invest in public transit (or corporate transit for their employees) that facilitates working: Quality Internet service, quiet cars, private space for phone calls, etc.


This doesn't address the GP question. It's also not accurate: The GP directly addresses some of those concerns, but it's point was to ask a question, not answer them.

> I want to raise my children in a community of my choosing, surrounded by close friends and family

It's a free country; you can do that right now. If you want to work for your current employer, you'll need to find an arrangement they find valuable or they have no reason to work with you.

> SFBA, which I have no connection to and frankly hate

> gossiping with my coworkers about office politics

You hate the community, your co-workers are no more interesting, important, or valuable to you than office gossip .... work from home isn't the issue.


“Most others” Jesus, imagine thinking that most people have kids. If you want what you say you want for your kids I would probably get of the capitalism merry-go-round if you have that privilege. Otherwise good luck with that thinking you can work at Apple AND be the type of parent you want to be.


Why are any of these proposals preferable to working from home?


Please no. I want work to be work and home to be home. Making work more like home is just the employer saying “why do you want to go home? Home is here!”


The title is accurate, but misleading.

"Employees are now discussing how best to respond, whether it be through another letter or legal action. About 10 people plan to resign or know others who will resign due to the hybrid policy, the report said"

Ten is more than one, but the article makes it sound like an exodus is impending.


There’s an old maxim from marketing. If one person is pissed off enough to write your company a letter, than there’s 100 other dissatisfied customers with the same experience that you’re about to lose.


I imagine part of this is an income effect based on the stock price rise. AAPL is about up 500% from where it was five years ago, which means that employees who have been there a while are likely sitting on a decent pile of equity/cash.

If their plan is to work remotely from a low/moderate CoL location, their equity could give them a pretty long runway there.

Of course, the well-performing stock is probably part of the reason that Apple is insistent on asking employees to return, because they believe that they'll be able to hire new employees (who will be attracted by equity, among other things) to replace people who leave.


We changed the URL from https://appleinsider.com/articles/21/07/15/apple-employees-t..., which points to this.

Submitters: "Please submit the original source. If a post reports on something found on another site, submit the latter."

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Not knocking working from home but -

1) Will employees demanding work from home / Utah etc be willing to accept Utah pay rates? You could probably just negotiate some deal, 50% of pay and full time work from home.

2) Were people hired based on an expectation of 5 days in office or work from home?

3) A fair bit of buzzword bingo - ADA claims, claims around diversity and inclusion. Are these things Apple is prioritizing or is to going to be what they consider useful for product and business execution?

4) The higher performing employees I know don't tend to go on strike, demand X, etc. They just find another job.

5) When someone says Apple Employees with no qualification - is that all employees - if so you'd think this would be bigger news.

Apple is likely at 100K+ employees. Even just a basic 10% attrition rate (avg is 17%) would be 10K+ employees per year. My guess is their turnover rate is lower (maybe 5%?) normally.

Our own offices went to high wall cubicles to reduce spread of germs, reduce audio distractions for zoom calls etc - I actually like it a lot. High noise absorbing walls (6') does wonders to overall sound in a space if everyone has them. Even have wrap around on desk edge so it's 3.5 sides.


1) Most of the roles can just switch to another FAANG where the largest discount is 85% instead of 50%.

2) Employers have changed the terms of employment at will for decades, I can literally find stories from a hundred years ago. This is a situation where employees are changing the terms (which also happened a hundred years ago in the US)

3) The American Disabilities Act is a law, diversity and inclusion are concepts. There is a large difference between being bad for diversity/inclusion and violating the law. When you violate the ADA you open yourself up to lawsuit (although the loss is a drop in the bucket for a company Apples size)

4) And? Companies need all types. The mid-performers and even the low-performers provide value (otherwise they wouldn't maintain employment). If all you care about are your high performers you'll have a larger churn and pay the price.

5) It's the verge, do you really think they're for high quality rigorous analytics reporting? No, they got a few chat threads and made some inferences. It may be that literally only 10 people at the company care about this (unlikely)


1) Sure - and Apple may be able to accommodate folks asking for a pay cut in return for a change in work situation if they ask. Note that I did this once asking to go to part time at a position in return for a more than pro-rata reduction in pay. I was turned down and found another job. I didn't threaten to quit - and remained on good terms with previous employer who later hired me on as a contractor (!) so my pay was remarkably higher for the part time work I'd wanted in first place - still in touch with them.

2) Employees also find what works and switch jobs. You don't need to throw around things like diversity, inclusion, ADA - you can just go find a WfH job (there are a lot more these days) if that's what you want / need.

3) The claims of violation in this article are thin. It's not clear employees have described medical condition, provided docs, done the interactive process. How has apple violated the ADA? Note that the ADA is not a free pass either.

4) The lower performers may seem to be easier to replace - so may not be key retention targets. Note that I've seen incredible accommodation of key retention target staff (ie, live on a boat, x hours of private jet travel etc).

5) Every industry has higher churn now because of wfH (mine included). This is not headline news necessarily.


I work for a FAANG company (not Apple), and regarding item #1: yes, absolutely. I just moved from CA to UT and the 25% pay cut sucks but it's totally worth the 80% reduction in housing prices.


Looking to move from SF currently. Curious if your location has a good school district. That along with great outdoors and affordable housing are my top criteria for moving.


We're in a decent school district (South Jordan). The schools near us are rated a 6ish/10 but all of the parents we've talked to have had really positive things to say about the schools and teachers.

The Sandy City and Bountiful City areas have some really good schools. Sandy is the closest to the mountains for skiing and hiking. Bountiful also has a lot of trails you can hike/bike but skiing is ~45 minutes away (whereas Alta Ski Resort is only 20ish minutes from Sandy).

Feel free to email me if you have any extra questions. hn@mjbshaw.com


I'm surprised to see the claim that the "buzzword bingo" is somehow at odds with product and business execution after last year.

We just experienced an extended period of time, longer than anyone expected in February 2020, where literally everyone was either unable to come to work for, essentially, medical reasons, or required serious and unprecedented accommodations (distancing/barriers, masks, cleaning, etc.) to do so. Companies that were able to look that reality in the face and admit it were able to keep executing. Companies that couldn't admit the facts struggled in the early days, and their most capable employees had plenty of alternatives.

The more your company is able to handle the fact that different people have different needs, the more effective your company is at delivering business value, for all sorts of reasons. You can adapt to unusual conditions like a pandemic where everyone suddenly has different needs all at once (and the resulting needs of people who live by themselves are very different from the needs of parents of young children, etc.). You can hire talent who is good at the actual job you want them to do without also expecting them to be good at, say, walking around an office. You can retain experienced employees who become disabled. And so forth.


This is already mentioned in the comments section of the article but I find the claim ridiculous.

> Apple will apparently make exceptions for people with documented medical conditions, but acquiring that accommodation reportedly requires employees to confirm their status by releasing medical records to the company. The demand made some people uncomfortable, the report said.

If you have a medical exemption requiring accommodations to allow for remote work, I think it makes sense that you provide some sort of proof. How is that unfair?


Makes people feel uncomfortable - that is a lot more common these days.

Asking for documentation in these situations is somewhat routine when the issue is not obvious. Someone who used to be able to work in the office, and now can't return, that's not going to be super obvious necessarily why WfH is needed (and separately a reasonable request).

"An employer may require that the documentation about the disability and the functional limitations come from an appropriate health care or rehabilitation professional. The appropriate professional in any particular situation will depend on the disability and the type of functional limitation it imposes. Appropriate professionals include, but are not limited to, doctors (including psychiatrists), psychologists, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and licensed mental health professionals.

In requesting documentation, employers should specify what types of information they are seeking regarding the disability, its functional limitations, and the need for reasonable accommodation. The individual can be asked to sign a limited release allowing the employer to submit a list of specific questions to the health care or vocational professional." - EEOC.


> Makes people feel uncomfortable - that is a lot more common these days.

People feeling uncomfortable on what were previously normal requests is also quite a bit more common.


> releasing medical records

Is not the same as providing a reasonable degree of proof, you employee (in general) should not need to know what exactly your medical conditions are in full details. Knowing that you have conditions, at most with some rough direction should be enough.


No - they can ask about the specific condition that requires accommodation. They only need to know about that one issue, if you have ED or hair loss that doesn't need to be disclosed if you are not asking for accommodation as a result.


I think we are meaning roughly the same.

> know about that one issue

Knowing that you have that conditions is still not the same as releasing medical records specific to that condition.

So you employee should neither have your full medical records nor a sub-set specific to a certain condition. Just a document confirming that you have that condition.


No, they can ask that you release records related to that condition. That means the detailed records in many cases.

Reality is in most cases employer just talks to employees or condition is obvious (use of a wheelchair etc). In most cases accommodation measures are routine / trivial (better chair, taller desk, different schedule such as part time work for reduced pay etc etc, ergo keyboard).

Honestly, stuff like this where you hear ADA requiring employers to supposedly let people work from Utah where COL is 1/2 bay area is what gives ADA type stuff a bad name. It's not the common track and obviously open to more abuse particularly if no documentation is provided.


Can you provide evidence of this? My reading of the ADA was that employers can ask for whatever they want to but are ultimately required to take a doctors certification. No one, as far as I know, is required to disclose their medical records in order to be eligible for the ADA if a doctor is will to certify.

Source: I have disabilities that I've fought with multiple employers over.


If you don't want to release records they can ask your doctor directly to respond to a set of questions about your condition generally. Practically doctors can write a note and if is sufficiently detailed it's normally accepted.

But the idea that oh, I've got something so ADA let's me work from home is really not true - there is usually much much more back and forth in these things.


Tbh, I don’t know how much I would trust this article given that it is based on employee Slack channel. Note the wording “accommodation reportedly requires”, which doesn’t tell us who reported this. Ideally, shouldn’t the article cite a source for this specific information given that it is presented as a factual statement even though it sounds like a speculation? I am not surprised that there are already 3 comments that have picked on this particular line.


Consider that in other scenarios where a disability is claimed. Some people abuse it (therapy animals on planes ie) while some people genuinely need special accommodations. There are those who will always say someone is abusing the system and demand they prove it; kind of reminds me of speeders who demand to see the radar.


People probably misunderstand and think you would have to share actual medical information with Apple. Meanwhile you most probably just have to hand in a rather vague note from your doctor, stating that you have a condition (not further specified) so working from home puts you less at risk.


Even if they have to show medical records this can be arranged to go through a 3rd party organization that validates the request without sharing details with the company. This type of stuff already exists for medical claims.


Why don't you ask an Apple employee instead of HN?


Apple employees frequent Hacker News, FYI.


Judging by how quickly I get downvoted around here, it looks like the population density is rather high...


Your employer should not be the arbiter of your health, your doctor should. Your doctor should be able to determine what you are and are not capable of doing and communicate that to your employer who should take that as proof.

This whole "let's see your medical history" approach is a very slippery slope and one I hope we don't fall down.

Edit: For more context, your doctor could determine in one visit that you have a newly arisen chronic ailment that's debilitating but your employer may set a threshold of a certain # of visits over a period of time in order to qualify for that chronic ailment...


In a world without quack doctors, this would probably be workable. In a world with them, employers may reasonably want to do more diligence in some cases.


Employers have a right to know about the disability and the functional limitations it imposes.

In fact, they can even have you to go to an employer selected doctor if you're not giving them good info / good docs - this is someone who will be paid by employer to check into your condition and report back to them.


Source? This sounds like a major violation of medical record confidentiality laws.


Start with EEOC-CVG-2003-1

"May an employer require an individual to go to a health care professional of the employer's (rather than the employee's) choice for purposes of documenting need for accommodation and disability? The ADA does not prevent an employer from requiring an individual to go to an appropriate health professional of the employer's choice if the individual provides insufficient information from his/her treating physician (or other health care professional) to substantiate that s/he has an ADA disability and needs a reasonable accommodation. "

Note - I'm not aware of this being common because employees will generally be better off having their own doctor release their own records or respond to employers questions about medical condition. Again, records are limited to the specific issue and need for accommodation / functional issues etc.



Let them quit, unless it's their marketing department.

Throw more money at the marketing department to make them comply.

Apple users have always dealt with hardware and software issues, the engineers are interchangeable. The brand image is non negotiable.


Actually engineers are not interchangeable. whilst marketing and sales are. both hardware and software engineers have proprietary knowledge of products, marketing can be picked up by anyone with couple of weeks of orientation.


I know you're being sardonic, but that's probably the mentality at the top right now. They can ebb and flow as many employees as they want right now.


Maybe the cynical definition.

I've used enough Apple products to wonder "WTF is everyone else thinking."


I see a lot of this FAANG "threatening" - walk the talk people! I did and I don't regret it. Until people start to actually take action nothing will change.

P.S. Yes I recognize that there may be people in precarious situations who may not afford such actions but majority of FAANG employees are not it.


The real story here is why are execs and managers desperate to get back in offices. And the answer is that remote has exposed how useless they are. Worse than useless in fact. While before they were more able to Harrison Bergeron their productive employees with useless face time meetings, remote has increased the value gap. So they desperately need to bring these employees down to Earth, before they start getting ideas.


I thought apple had its own internal communications tooling, are all teams at apple using slack?


Yes, Apple uses Slack internally.


I wish the media would look at smaller, less known companies and their employees. Apple is a place people the world over would love to work at, and would gladly give up working from home to get a job at. I can totally understand desire to work from home, but those article seems like these employees are just spoiled.


Depends. I refuse to work for military contractors and companies who ban Pro Freedom Apps and give their data to dictators.

Some people have ethical standards. Not sure what percentage.


So pre-pandemic, they're all hired to go to the office 5 days a week, now after pandemic, they don't even want to go back 3 days a week?


Or, if you prefer, pre-pandemic they didn't know how happy and productive they would be not having to go into the office five days a week, and post-pandemic, they do know.

Strikes me as an internal matter, frankly, I don't have a dog in this fight. I'm cynical enough to think that sunk costs on their enormous (and admittedly impressive) space donut is playing a role here, but it's their company to run, and it's the employee's jobs to negotiate.

I decided years before the pandemic that I didn't want to go into the office anymore, and plan to stick with it for as long as I can.


Yeah that's also true. What I don't understand is, if it bothers them that much, then quit and find flexible jobs. Instead of taking legal action, talking to lawyer lol.

Its company's policy, they wanted to work there in the first place.

Nowadays people are complaining about everything


It is difficult to go back to a worse status quo ante once an improvement in quality of life has been experienced.


Post-pandemic, almost all FAANGs adopted a full remote work policy. Apple competes with these companies for talent.


Apple does not need to compete. it is not as if FAANG guys can suddenly absorb 1000s of employees trying to switch. it will create even more selective hiring.


Which ones specifically?


The ones I know of are Facebook, Twitter and Netflix.


Netflix's CEO has been vocally anti-WFH since the beginning.


Perhaps they experienced WFH for the first time and they don’t want to lose it.


Pre-pandemic they were told the only way to be a productive well oiled org with apple's values was to be in the same place together...and then for almost a year and a half...Wanting a new deal doesn't seem anywhere near as flippant as your comment makes it out to be.


Maybe were missing a larger point here. Perhaps Apple looked at the past year working from home and found that it did not work. Employees are happier, but the company has found that the situation was not tenable for their desired level of workflow.


At this point, we have two competing pieces of information:

(1) Some workers say they are just as effective at home

(2) Some higher ups believe employees are noticeably more productive in the office

Comparing the veracity of these two opposing statement, both from groups that have some claim to authority on the matter is hard. I, as an external observer, can only really judge with the aid of some secondary information. Both claims seem, on the surface, plausible.

However, if we are indeed missing some larger point, there must some data to backup claim (2). That data does not seem to be made public, as reported quarterly profits during the pandemic were up. Not releasing that information is up to Apple, they don't need to let outsiders know how the sausage is made.

https://www.macrotrends.net/stocks/charts/AAPL/apple/gross-p...

More importantly, if a non-trivial # of employees believe (1), regardless of its veracity, then Apple isn't correctly communicating their reasons for (2) internally. So at this point, we, as outside observers, don't know the reasons, many of the employees don't seem to know/believe the reasons, but we should take Apple Management's word for it?

You may trust the word of one group of the other, I'm not here to question that. Such value judgements are how we navigate life. However, expecting me to believe Apple's Management on face value, when their formerly happy-to-come-in employees don't is a tough sell.


Apple is still huge and powerful, benefiting from a massive inertia, but I don’t believe in its future.

The new Apple is as boring as IBM.

As corporate as it gets, lazy, crazy rich with no vision.


During their presentations it seems as if all the speakers are just going through the steps, faking emotions and smiles. Very few show actual passion and I think it’s bleeding over with this working from home issue. Apple simply doesn’t mean much to many of its employees, they view it as only a paycheck and they’re trying to maximize their harvest.


Sure, they haven't released an innovative product that made the entire industry sit up and take notice in like, a whole year now.

Losing their touch!


Unfortunately, they have no serious competition.


On which market?


Quite frankly, Apple is not a company that can be remote. All their stuff can be leaked, the attack vector is too large.

I understand the hard line stance here.

If you are working on a bumble fuck app, great, work from home. There are websites that are ready to publish any little rumor about a new feature in ‘Find my Mac’ because someone’s wife spied it, and told her friend.

Consider this a good problem.


And yet Apple Inc had been more than fine after more than a year of full remote work. Their stock price and profits are at record highs, despite being in the middle of a global recession. Clearly nosy spouses peeking into the home office do not pose an existential risk to the company.


Is it not? It’s operated the last 18 months as a remote company. The number of Apple leaks don’t seem any different than any other year.

Yes, if you’re working on next gen hardware I can see how that could be challenging. But what about the 2000 employees they have that do App review? (This number was revealed in their ongoing court case with epic) I would wager the majority of jobs at Apple don’t involve things that require physical isolated access


I’d say that is the case because it was a unique year and half. If you extend out the paradigm over ten years, voila, the graph will show itself. The number of leaks will definitely show itself once you adjust the variable of time.

Time and human nature is an age old tale.


So your argument is that if given time data will show your argument is right? I feel like there needs to be a little more support than that.


Nearly every argument in here is the persons own feelings and desires to spend more of their time at home. Who wouldn’t want that?


I say this as a person who likes Apple products generally.

Good.

This open office garbage has to end; remote work is one thing but you're asking people to basically give up having a private office with no commute to sit in a visually noisy (if not auditorially noisy) space so that some managers can live the panopticon.

People make the flexibility argument about open offices: but Apple is not the company that needs to be flexible.

People make the collaboration argument; but studies show people do not interact more in open offices.

People make the financial argument; but Apple is the most valuable company in the world.

There is no justification for this, it's just politicking and managers wanting to feel power.


In my experience, people talk less with coworkers while work from home. Not only that, but I don't have to be concerned with my coworkers screwing off while I pick up the slack. It's completely out of sight out of mind. The best part in my opinion, everything is in writing for the most part. "Hey Chuck can you take this ticket? Sandra can you forward that to me?" It forces the lazy people to get smart or get to work. Fortunately for me at my company, they basically said all non-essential IT is permanently work from home. Essential are people who need to maintain hardware. So I kinda lucked out.


it depends a lot of the culture (i don’t think there is a one size fits all). i am spending more time shooting the sh*t with my team mates since the pandemic started. it’s a mix of slack async + “face to face” meetings. we have a social hour each week + a google hangout that stays open 24/7 for people to chat if they feel like it (most of the time nobody is there but i’ve seen 2-3 people “accumulate” at time and 50/50 is not work related)


Even shared offices (2-3 people) are infinitely better than an open office or cubicle.


Who said they had open offices?


Apple Park is full of glass walls and open offices; information on this is not that hard to find.


There was a large backlash when Apple was forcing employees to move to Apple Park (with open offices).

Apples most innovative years were done with mostly private offices.

https://daringfireball.net/thetalkshow/2017/08/06/ep-197

https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/apple-employees-hate-appl...


>People make the collaboration argument; but studies show people do not interact more in open offices.

i do not buy this at all. in the office i interacted with dozens of people daily that i otherwise have no specific reason to directly send slack message to.


The argument against open plan offices is different (and stronger) than the argument against having offices at all.

Private offices with public congregating areas and meeting rooms are strictly better than open offices, in my opinion. Even cube farms are an improvement over the bullpen open plan, if a company can't afford enough real estate to give everyone their own office.

Remote work entails stronger tradeoffs. I've been at it for four years, and would never go back, but it does take a certain sort of personality and working style to make it functional, and the case for offices is strong.

The post you're replying to was perhaps conflating the two questions, but was specific about addressing open plan offices.


>Private offices with public congregating areas and meeting rooms are strictly better than open offices, in my opinion. Even cube farms are an improvement over the bullpen open plan, if a company can't afford enough real estate to give everyone their own office.

I can't agree with this enough. Private cubes and offices always felt like I was given the respect I was entitled. You understand that when I clock in and clock out, I am working. I am converting man hours into the task you need done. I am not screwing around doing nothing all day. Managers whom I've had that didn't like those ideas and wanted you in open office environments tended to be power oriented or had nothing else better to do with their time but to spy on employees.


> There is no justification for this, it's just politicking and managers wanting to feel power.

They must want to make the investment in that massive office feel worth it? Like that "we built a new office that emphasizes our company's values" garbage works great on management. I wonder how much is wanting to watch over the employees, and how much is wanting to make good on your fancy new toy. I find it very difficult to justify requiring Apple employees in the office.

I obviously don't think highly of Apples' creative and engineering talent... do they still have weight to pull at the company? It seems like a management farm to me now. I hope that doesn't seem harsh.


and they will be replaced by people who are willing to come in. do employees actually think they are not replaceable?


Go try to hire 100 talented software engineers for non-remote work in this market and tell me how replaceable they are.




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